Nightmare Subordinates (Difficult Employees) and How to Deal with them - Part 2

Updated: Jul 19



Let's do a quick recap from part one of this topic, if you missed it, you can read it here

No 1 - The "I am Better Than You" Subordinate

No 2 - The "Selective Availability Disorder'" (SAD) Subordinate No 3 - The "I don't feel well" Subordinate"


In this post we will look at the last two


No 4 - The "I am Simply Amazing" Subordinate

So, what makes these employees so "amazing" and how can that be more harmful than good?


Well, these people are actually very good at their jobs, they are highflyers and go getters. They solve problems and are often the star of the team. They know what to do and they do it excellently well.


Both manager and team members often rely heavily on them to "work their magic" and "save the day" when challenging or difficult situations arise.


The problem is that these staff sometimes become too comfortable and think that because they are so good, they can flout rules, regulations, processes and procedures and get away with it, after all, "the team cannot survive without me."


The danger with this is that discipline within the team will begin to slip, the "star" will increasingly flout rules and regulations and not be penalized simply because you need their skills.


This breeds anger, jealousy and disunity among other team members because this staff appears to be "untouchable". They get away with wrong doing while others do not.


What to Do

  • Encourage teamwork and incorporate a good succession plan.

  • Encourage knowledge sharing, collaboration and cooperation

  • Ensure other team members understudy and develop the skills and capabilities of this staff so that you don't have to rely on one person to get your work done.

  • Do not hesitate to apply the required disciplinary action against the staff for any wrongdoing, let them know that there is no sacred cow, everyone will be held accountable.

Have you experienced this kind of employee?

What happened?

Were any situations created by this person?

How was the matter resolved?

Please share your learnings with me.



No 5 - The "World is on My Shoulders" Subordinate

This type of employee is full of negativity, always complaining and moaning about one thing or the other. While it's natural to be upset from time to time, this employee is constantly upset with literally everything!

  • My manager is never satisfied

  • My colleagues don't like me

  • The salary is too small

  • The work is too much

  • Management is planning to sack us

  • Why didn't they buy sugar donuts instead of chocolate donuts?

  • The timeline for the report is too short

  • The meeting is too long

They are pessimists and always find everything wrong and reasons to moan.


The danger is that they spread their negativity to other staff and create an atmosphere of gloom and doom, they thrive on suspicion and rumors, always twisting the truth resulting in reduced morale and poor productivity.


What to do

Analyze the things they complain about and separate the genuine reasons from the frivolous. Ensure you address all genuine issues.


Ensure there are documented policies in place regarding treatment of staff, entitlements, and benefits. Complainers often believe things are "not fair" this can easily be debunked by ensuring that policies are in place and they are duly followed.


Keep the atmosphere in the office cheerful and energetic, don't allow people to be idle, that's when they find time to gossip and spread rumors through idle jisting.


Have an open-door policy and encourage staff to go directly to their superior or to HR with their concerns, discourage them from seeking help from fellow employees who cannot provide any solution.


Who is the moaner in your office?

What ridiculous thing have they complained about?

How did you handle it?

Share with me in the comments


Remember to inspire, influence, and impact your world


Written by Lady Shayo Imologome

Business Growth Strategist, Management Consultant, and Keynote Speaker


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Image Credits and Sources

Image 1 - Freepik created by katemangostar

Image 2 - Freepik created by benzoix

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