Performance Management Blog

Managing an Employee You Dislike

Posted by Jamie Resker on Oct 4, 2013 12:03:00 PM

managing an employee you don't like

In this world it’s impossible to like everyone. However in the workplace, as a manager, it almost feels wrong or biased to dislike an employee. But why? Just because you do not particularly like a person on your team does not make you a bad manager…though, how you treat them might.

A manager’s duty has and always will be to keep the peace, flow and productivity of a workplace going. Harboring personal distaste for a person can disrupt everything if you let it…here’s how you can keep calm while moving on.

Divide and Conquer First you need to start with some reflection and try to discover why you do not necessarily like the employee at hand. Are they unethical or immoral? If so you do have a case for dismissal. (But chances are if that were the case, you wouldn’t need this article as much as you would need a “We’re Hiring” sign.) So maybe the flaw lies in personality clashes…

Things get much stickier when you come to terms with the fact that your distaste for someone has nothing to do with them doing a bad job, they simply rub you the wrong way. Answer these questions: are they doing their work? Is your distaste for them disrupting the team’s overall productivity? If not, then they deserve to stay.

Regardless of personality clashes, if you choose to continue to harbor bad feelings toward an employee simply because you don’t like them and it effects your work delegations, scheduling etc. then you are the one being unprofessional. Which brings us to our next question…

Is It Me? Between body language, demeanor and energy, it might be safe to assume that these bad feelings are mutual between both you and your employee. This begs the question, are you the problem? Sure your employee may say annoying things or participate in irritating actions, but what are you doing to fuel the fire?

The goal here is to move on and work together and for a lot of people that first step will be acknowledging their own part in the conflict. Personal reflection and awareness can do wonders for your attitude and mood. Work on being open to your own flaws and missteps that you have made along the way.

With Great Power Comes… In this world we can’t be expected to like everyone, but as a talented manager, you are expected to be able to find a way to successfully work with anyone. Sometimes conflicts boil down to simple personality clashes. Just because you would not choose to associate with someone in public does not mean you can’t work together as an effective team.

The good news is that you don’t need to get your unfavorable employee involved in on this process. Moving on is a decision you can make and carry out all on your own. Now, do you want to? For the sake of workplace harmony and your own 9-5 happiness, it certainly is worth giving a shot.

Have you ever dealt with an employee you didn’t like?  Share your experiences with us!

About the author: Kelly Gregorio writes about management trends and tips while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a provider of merchant cash advances. You can read her daily business blog here.  Kelly Gregorio writes about management trends and tips while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a provider of merchant cash advances. You can read her daily business blog here