5 Monstrous Employees And How To Handle Them

Movie monsters can be scary. Monstrous employees are much scarier. They terrorize any office they invade and, unlike their cinematic counterparts, don’t come with a glaring weakness. Rather, it takes an individualized approach to manage the situation.

monstrous employees

Here are five common office monsters and how to handle them.

1.  The Zombie (AKA, The Lazy Employee)

A zombie shuffles into work well after her shift started and requires about three cups of coffee before moving again. By day’s end, she may have accomplished a few tasks, but her output is far below expectations.

The best cure for zombification is constant monitoring. When that tell-tale glaze enters her eyes, shift her focus back to work. When she comes in late, let her know you’re documenting it. The realization that she’s being watching should breathe life into her. If not, you may need to consider more disciplinary actions.

2.  The Werewolf (AKA, The Office Bully)

A werewolf is a fine employee until something triggers his inner beast. Once upset, he intimidates, humiliates, berates, or threatens other employees and creates a hostile environment.

Unlike the zombie, a werewolf won’t change with gently nudging. Follow your company’s official anti-bullying policy and discipline accordingly. Look into anti-bullying training if your company doesn’t have it. And if the werewolf refuses, he needs to be let go.

Most importantly, do not wait to act. Such negative behavior is unacceptable and unfair to coworkers.

3.  The Banshee (AKA, The Employee Distracter)

When working, a banshee screams endlessly for help. When taking a break, she spreads office gossip for everyone to hear. It’s bad enough a banshee can’t complete her own work, but she prevents others from focusing, too.

Individual banshees will require different tactics. For some, you simply need to be firm. Tell her she needs to stop talking and remind her gossip is not acceptable.

For others, recall the banshee’s tale—these are spirits from Irish folklore wailing for the death of a loved one. Your office banshee may be having difficulties managing her emotions due to difficulties in her private life. Taking her aside, discussing the behavior, and offering an empathetic ear can be just the thing.

4.  The Blob (AKA, The Egomaniac)

Like the namesake, this employee devours anyone he contacts to make himself look bigger. He strives to outdo everyone, while also micromanaging their efforts. Then he refuses help when he obviously needs it.

One way to handle a blob is to let it be. Give him own projects to work on, and keep him clear of team efforts. Unfortunately, this approach can disservice the blob and the team, as it negates the benefits of building a quality team.

Delegation provides another approach. Make your concerns known, and give the blob sufficient motivation to not devour others with his ego. Until he’s straightened out, avoid assigning him leadership roles.

5.  The Killer Clown (AKA, The Office Clown)

Like an actual killer clown, it’s impossible to take your eyes off this employee’s shenanigans, which leads to decreased productivity office-wide. The killer clown’s desire to make people laugh comes from a good place—she just wants work to be enjoyable. There may be a little attention-seeking in there, too.

First, take her aside, and explain that she needs to tone it down so others can focus. To mitigate the need for attention, simply make the effort to acknowledge her accomplishments more often.

There are also some principles to follow regardless of which monstrous employee you are handling. Feedback should be clear and focused on behavior (not attitudes). Be consistent with employees and when setting consequences. You should also work through company processes. Finally, document everything. You may not be able to exorcise all the monsters from your office, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to handling them effectively.

The trusted source for DC's Employers

Sign up and post a job now

Post a job today

Back to listing

The Washington Post Jobs Newsletter

Subscribe to the latest news about DC's jobs market