When you decide to become your own boss and run a small business, you suddenly face new challenges. There is indeed a big difference between being your boss and being someone else’s boss. Inexperienced entrepreneurs who run small businesses can break their teeth against the HR challenges that go with managing your employees. Needless to say, employees are people, and people are all different. As a result, it is not uncommon to come across certain employee personas that you need to manage closely. Some employees present no problem to the business. Others will need your guidance to deliver fantastic output. However, do not be too harsh on them. More often than not, it is the misinterpretation of an intention that creates possible frictions between you and your employees. Here are the top seven employee types that can make or break your business, if you do not know how to manage them.
#1. The Yes-(Wo)Man
You may be dreaming of someone who always agrees with you all the time. Could there be a better employee than someone who supports every single one of your ideas? Well, you may not want to believe it at first, but the yes-(wo)man doesn’t help your business. For a start, sometimes, your ideas are not the best – yes, it happens; you can’t always be right. Additionally, always agreeing means that there is no room for improvement, for finding a better way for your business. More often than not, the yes-person establishes an almost child-to-parent relationship with you, and while they don’t call you mom or dad, they require a very hands-on type of management. They are less likely to come up with solutions if they encounter an unexpected problem during their task.
#2. The HR Case
Not everything always runs smoothly with employees. There is a variety of cases where you might need professional HR consultancy services, especially if you are facing difficult issues with employees. Imagine that someone is complaining about discrimination at work. It is a difficult case to handle, and it is often one that needs an external opinion – the Ellis Whittam team is a good source of support – to ensure that everything is addressed properly. No employer likes to open an HR case against an employee, whether you are defending yourself or blaming your employee. However, it is good to know that with the help of a specialist, you can often sort out issues with the right communication.
#3. The One with a Bad Attitude
Do you know that employee who always criticizes the business? Nobody likes a negative employee. They have a dramatic impact on the mood of the team. It can be difficult to deal with a moaner. Yet, negative employees are often struggling with a difficult situation, whether personal or professional. As an employer, it is your role to first establish what the problem is. If the issue is work-related, it falls under your duty to sort it out, if this is possible. If it is private, you could discuss ways of adjusting their work routine to facilitate their work/life balance accordingly. In other words, a bad attitude can always be resolved if you find the underlying cause of the problem.
#4. The Enthusiastic Marketing Geek
A creative employee is a great addition to the marketing team. However, a creative employee who takes too much initiative can destroy your business. Imagine someone new who is in charge of your web content or your social media strategy. It is essential to keep a consistent voice and messaging even if you are in the process of revamping your marketing communication. Your customers are used to your business voice and brand. Changing it abruptly means that customers might react negatively to it. So make sure that your creative person still respects the customers.
#5. The One Who Is Always Sickly
Do you have an employee who seems to be often calling in sick? It is the nightmare of most employers, and unfortunately, it is one that is often misinterpreted. An employee who is regularly on sick leave will need to present an explanation for his or her absence. However, bear in mind that sick leave that be caused by a variety of factors. Whether they are indeed struggling with a chronic disease, for example, or need to take an unplanned social duty – such as looking after a sick parent – you should always ask for their reasons before condemning. More often than not, an open discussion can help both of you to find a solution.
#6. The Social Media Addict
Do not deny it: You have checked your employees’ social media presence, at least during the recruitment process. Social media monitoring is a gray area in the workplace. While you may not approve of your employee’s partying habits, you are not allowed to use elements of your team’s private life against them. As a rule of the thumb, you need to have a legitimate reason for researching someone’s social accounts. For example, suspecting harmful activities to the business, such as online client shaming, is a reasonable claim. In the end, an employee who shares too much online is only a risk for the company if they are connected to clients or are sharing business-related information.
#7. The One Who Works Too Much
Overtime work is common in every office. However, it does not stop you from paying close attention to your overworked employees. Indeed, if you notice a pattern in the working hours, especially if it is around or above 50 hours a week, you need to investigate the issue. Overworked employees are less productive, less efficient and less motivated. It is important to understand the reason for their overtime work and to ensure that it can be adjusted to normal working hours. More often than not, the workload is too high. You may not think about it, but an employee who is often interrupted at work – let us say by colleagues asking questions or by being invited to unplanned meetings – can lose up to 70% productivity. It is something that they try to reduce by working longer hours. In other words, it is your responsibility to make sure that employees can stick to their contracted working hours.