They grate on your nerves and set your teeth on edge, but certain types of employees can benefit your small business. If you want to boost business and grow your company, you’ll have to learn how to deal with “annoying” employees. Here is a list of the five most irritating employees and how they can be some of your company’s best assets.

1. Nitpickers

Employees who comb through every aspect of their jobs and point out even minor problems or discrepancies may annoy you with their thoroughness, but having someone analyze the finer points of your business is just what you need—particularly if you’re focused on the bigger picture.

Solution: Rather than think of such employees as irritating, consider them detail-oriented and dedicated to doing the best job possible. Use this strength to your advantage. Choose positions for such employees where thoroughness and detail matter, such as those in the financial area of your business or in product ordering and inventory management.

2. Creatives

Creative people concoct unique and innovative ideas that can lead to extraordinary inventions, but such employees tend to be esoteric and eclectic and forge their own paths. Those traits can make managing them challenging when it comes to ensuring that they follow best practices and mesh socially with the rest of your team.

Solution: Realize that without the infusion of creative juices and the revolutionary ideas that come from their brainstorming, your company isn’t likely to survive in the long run. When presented with what might seem like far-out concepts, take the time to listen to creative employees with an open mind. At the same time, send a clear message that like everyone else, they must abide by company rules. For instance, insist that they follow protocol when it comes to presenting their new ideas and that they attend all mandatory meetings and adhere to the dress code.

3. Cheerleaders

Perpetually cheerful, smiling employees can be aggravating when they insist on always looking at the positives—despite a grim reality. You most likely don’t want to hear about the “bright side” when you’ve lost an important client or sales are low.

Solution: Keep in mind that we all deal with setbacks in different ways. Rather than become aggravated when a cheerleader starts cheering, remind yourself that the employee’s attitude is in the right place. Soak up some of the optimism and suggest your other employees do the same. Also take advantage of the cheerleader’s strengths. Consider putting such an employee in the human resources side of your company.

4. Chatterboxes

Employees who talk incessantly can wear down the entire office. You may feel like telling such workers to simply stop talking and start working. If you’ve ever known a chatterbox, though, you’ve probably found that talking is not something such a person can shut off easily or at all.

Solution: Your best move with a talker is to put the employee into your company’s customer service department where talking is a necessity. Good customer service is all about communication. Remind chatty employees to make sure to listen to customers, but otherwise encourage them to communicate with clients via phone, instant messaging and email.

5. Leaders

As a small business owner, it’s natural to be leery when a born leader appears to want your job. Individuals with a strong drive to spearhead projects can be a bit off-putting and even seem arrogant.

Solution: Although you don’t want to encourage leader types to aim for the position of CEO, you do want to harness their drive and determination so they can act as managers when you decide to grow your company. Such employees are also good candidates for heading up projects. Leaders understand and respect the chain of command, so make it clear where they stand and then watch them shine.

When it comes to employees who irritate you, it’s all about perspective. Change your views, and you’re likely to find tangible ways to use the talents of some of your strongest employees to benefit your small business.

 

Next Steps:  Are you looking to manage your employees more effectively but don’t have time to keep up with the latest research and trends in talent management? We’ve got you covered with the weekly Small Biz Ahead Newsletter. Sign up today and start receiving the weekly newsletter chock full of the latest tools and resources to help you run a successful business.