Managing The Employee You Hate

First, let me say this: I feel like this is kind of a controversial or taboo topic to tackle because no one wants to admit they hate one of their employees. But more than that, they don’t to come off as if they hate one of their employees, so that’s why this blog is important.

In her Dental Practice Management Article “How to manage the employee you hate,” Lisa Newburger recognizes that it’s not politically correct to be honest about hating an employee, but, she writes, it’s a reality that you’re not going to like every single one of those you manage. 

Newburger goes on to list things you should do and things you definitely should never ever do when it comes to managing that particular employee.

What you might want to do but should NEVER do when managing the employee you hate:
  1. Sabotage him/her.
  2. Gossip about him/her.
  3. Push his/her buttons and make him/her explode.
  4. Humiliate him/her.
  5. Make him/her quit.

The above list are all things Newburger felt about employees she’s managed that she hated. “Sometimes someone just irritates the heck out of me and I want (revenge badly,” she writes. “It comes from a deep place inside me that is purely evil. It’s so hard to believe I could really revel in wanting to hurt someone else, but it happens.” 

But, she goes on to write, that bosses who are have these thoughts need to snap out of it. “You don’t want to do these things to someone. Or, you shouldn’t,” she writes. “What can you do? How can you get your employee to behave and perform their job? How can you get them to just show up for work on time? You are sick and tired of this nonsense. The rest of the staff should not be subjected to this kind of behavior over and over again. What can you do without sinking to such a low level?”

Newburger writes that there are expectations of this employee and he or she should do them or leave. “I know it sounds a little bit harsh, but is it?” she writes. “If both management and the emploee are unhappy, sometimes there is only one answer.”

Managers should take the high road on this one, she writes, and take the legal, ethical and common-sense approach to dealing with this by adhering to the five tips below.

What you should do when managing the employee you hate:
  1. Document. Document. Document. Keep track of specific incidents and start a paper trail. 
  2. Let the person know there is an issue. After all, the employee can’t change the behavior until he or she knows there is one. 
  3. Have a plan of action with the employee. Address the specific issues and let them know what’s expected. “If they don’t want to come to work on time, let them know they don’t have to,” Newburger writes. “Have them sign and agree to the plan of action.
  4. Do not gossip about this person with anyone in the practice.  Go through the chain of command and do it behind closed doors. “Make sure no one hears conversations about this employee,” she writes. “You shoot yourself in the foot when you manage employees and forget you are not one of them. You are management. Management does not gossip.
  5. Do not sabotage or live in a distorted reality of wanting to fire someone. “Keep your eyes on the prize,” she writes. “The prize is not firing  . . . it is finding a solution.” Newburger said you should exhaust all possibilities to resolve problems, as firing has an impact on practices. Even if the employee wasn’t liked, managers still send a message that anyone could be fired. 

Newburger writes that managers should never forget that being a boss means having to deal wit problems every day. “How you deal with those situations really marks what kind of a leader you are,” she writes. 

Katie Devereaux

Resume Coach and Blogger at Dental Temps Professional Services
Katie Devereaux is a writer and editor, who graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism. She has written for several publications in Florida, Alaska and Illinois.
Katie Devereaux

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About Katie Devereaux

Katie Devereaux is a writer and editor, who graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism. She has written for several publications in Florida, Alaska and Illinois.