The 5 Different Faces of the Office Employee

The reason why most management techniques bother me is that a lot of them refer to employees as herd of sheep. Where manager is the subject, and employee is the object. But employees come in all shapes, sizes, moods and personalities and there’s no singular way of managing them all at once. What we can do is try and lump them in loose categories so we can try and make some sense of how the whole management thing will work.

And I’ll tell you why that’s important. During your time as manager, you’ll find that you’re more harmonious with certain personality types than others. And if you’re hiring the personalities not fit for your company, you’ll end up paying the cost. Look at what Mindflash found…

So let’s try and talk about the different kind of people you’re most likely have to deal with during your stint as a manager.

The Second in Command

This person is pretty good at what they do. All their tasks are done on time, they’ve made all the reports you asked them to a week in advance, and they’ve come up with pretty good ideas for the next presentation, too. They might as well be your right hand man or woman. If you’re giving anyone a promotion, it’s them.

All you got to do with these characters is keep reviving the sense of team. Make sure all their positive energies are deployed toward making the team better, not just in personal achievement.

The Baby Bambi

Every once in a while, you’re going to find yourself hiring what you promised yourself would be fresh, new talent. What you got instead are complete newbies… kids right out of college, and working with you is their very first job. These characters are a bit of a wild card because your success/failure balance with them is literally 50-50.

You’ll find yourself playing mentor to this time. Often it may seem that you’re investing way too much time training them rather than getting actual work done. But don’t give up on them… because they’ll groom up to be tailor-made for your company.

The Free Loader

Every office has that one person who gets a lot less work done than the rest of the team. And the worst part is that managers are usually the last to know who these people are. It’s the team that takes the fall for their slack. Because these people are not very regular… they might as well be on a different clock. They spend more time browsing through funny YouTube videos than they do working. Or they might pretend to be completely clueless about most things, so you’d think it’s better if someone else does their work.

Weed out these people. It’ll do you a lot of good to have an employee monitoring app at your disposal because it’s a great way of actually measuring who does how much work.

The Lazy-But-Talent

These ones are super frustrating. Because in theory, they have the most talent out of everyone else. But they don’t always seem to exercise it. You’ll see their stroke of genius every now and then, but then it’s back to being lackluster. And it’s annoying because you can’t decide whether their brilliant ideas are worth enough to wait for. Or whether they are a liability.

The problem with these people is that they work on a whim. And for that, they always need inspiration. So your job with these is to always keep them motivated and inspired. Encourage them to come up with new ideas and orchestrate those ideas into excitable tasks. As long as you’re feeding their need for the novel, they’ll keep on surprising you.

The Frowning Fred

There will always be the one person in your team that wants to bring everyone down. And I don’t mean this in the competition/performance arena.  I mean this in the morale sense. Because Frowning Freds are pessimistic and panicky.

They might be all-right workers, and their pessimism can be helpful because it helps you consider every consequence of a decision. But you need to decide carefully. Is their Frowning good for your company, or does it only serve to ruin the moment so to speak?


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