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  • Writer's pictureMarty Jalove

Being Thankful for Problem Employees

We've all had them - the nightmare employees. The Procrastinators, Negative Nancys, Lone Wolves, Drama Queens, Workaholics Wallys, Chatterbox Charlies, and Know-it-all Nicks of the world. And though it might not seem like it on some days (or most), each of these character types can bring something valuable to your organization - if you know how to look for it.

Being thankful for problem employees is essential in order to foster a positive staff culture and ensure long-term success within your business. So, get ready to learn tips on how appreciating individuals despite their challenges can help make everyone's workplace experience better!

Procrastinator Pauly

Procrastinator Pauly The undisputed master of "I'll do it later." This individual has a knack for pushing tasks to the last minute, effectively transforming every deadline into a ticking time bomb of stress for the entire team. It's important to be cautious, as the procrastinator's mantra of "later" often morphs tragically into "never," resulting in missed opportunities and a significant drop in productivity.

However, let's not overlook the silver lining. While they are indeed masters of "later," they are also the kings and queens of creativity under pressure. As the clock marches on relentlessly, their minds ignite, becoming whirlwinds of innovation that spin out ideas which can often be pure gold. Just as diamonds are formed under intense pressure, so too can the procrastinator's best work emerge in the face of tight deadlines.

So how do we harness this potential? The key is to transform "later" into "now." This can be achieved by breaking tasks down into manageable chunks. Utilize the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal system to provide clear direction and firm deadlines. And always remember, a gentle nudge can often act as the spark that ignites action.

Negative Nancy

Negative Nancy Have you ever encountered someone who perceives the glass as not just half-empty, but completely shattered? Welcome to the world of Negative Nancy. Their persistent pessimism can act like a storm cloud hovering ominously over your team, dampening spirits, and quashing innovative ideas. Remember, negativity is infectious - a perilous contagion when success is the ultimate goal.

However, let's adjust our perspective slightly. Yes, their glass appears half-empty, but it's important to recognize that they are realists at heart. They perceive the world in its raw, unfiltered state, not through rose-tinted glasses. This brutal honesty can serve as a lighthouse in a sea of sugar-coated illusions. After all, isn't confronting the storm better than pretending it doesn't exist?

So, how do we shift this dynamic? Positivity is just as contagious as negativity. Be the ray of sunshine that breaks through their stormy clouds. Encourage them to seek the silver lining in every situation and consistently remind them of the transformative power of a positive mindset. After all, navigating life with optimism is surely more rewarding than trudging through with pessimism.

The Lone Wolf

The Lone Wolf Independence is often considered a virtue, but in the Lone Wolf's case, it's taken to an extreme. This individual prefers solitude over collaboration, working alone rather than as part of a team. Initially, this might seem innocuous, but over time, their isolation can splinter team cohesion and obstruct the free flow of ideas. After all, isn't synergy our greatest strength?

However, let's shift our perspective a bit. While they may enjoy solitude, it's crucial to remember that they are essences of self-reliance. In a world where teamwork is praised, their ability to stand alone is a testament to their fortitude. Remember, isn't it the solitary tree that braves the storm?

The key solution lies in unity. Prompt the Lone Wolf to join the pack by cultivating an environment that values collaboration. Remind them that every voice contributes to the harmony of the whole, and together, we can create something that surpasses the sum of its parts. Always remember, even lone wolves can join the chorus of howls.

The Drama Queen

The Drama Queen In the workplace, life should not resemble a soap opera, but convincing the Drama Queen or King of this can be a challenge. They tend to feed on conflict, instigating issues and inciting unnecessary tension. The potential fallout? A toxic work environment that could trigger high employee turnover and plummeting morale. Ideally, we should confine drama to the stage, but that’s not always the case.

However, a shift in perspective might be beneficial here. While their lives may mimic a soap opera, it's crucial to remember that they are the epitome of passion. Their capacity to experience deep emotions can serve as a wellspring of inspiration, underscoring the potency of human feelings. After all, isn't it our emotional depth that defines our humanity?

Life, unlike a stage, is a journey. Inspire them to direct their passion into their work rather than conflicts. Promote an environment of transparent and honest communication and remind them that we're all part of the same team. After all, isn't our collective goal to create harmony rather than discord?

Workaholic Wally

Workaholic Wally Picture Wally, perpetually the first to clock in and the last to clock out. Sounds like a dream employee, right? Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Wally's relentless fixation on work can pave the way to burnout, not only for him but also for his colleagues who might feel compelled to match his pace. Let's remember, balance is the secret ingredient for longevity.

However, looking at things from a different angle, while they may be inclined to work incessantly, it's important to acknowledge that they exemplify dedication. Their unwavering commitment to their craft sets a commendable precedent for us all. After all, isn't it through tenacity that we attain true greatness?

The key to a balanced life lies in moderation. Inspire Wally to take regular breaks, prioritize his wellbeing, and understand that career growth is a marathon, not a sprint. Remind him that even the most luminous stars require the darkness to truly shine.

Chatterbox Charlie

Chatterbox Charlie While communication is undoubtedly crucial, Charlie elevates it to an entirely different plane. His incessant chatter can serve as a distraction for others and potentially hamper productivity. Let's not forget that time is an invaluable asset that deserves our utmost respect.

However, let's shift our viewpoint a little. While they may be prone to talking at breakneck speed, it's essential to appreciate their prowess in communication. Their skill in expressing themselves has the power to dismantle barriers and construct bridges of understanding. After all, isn't it through verbal exchange that we foster connections?

Communication, remember, is a two-way street. Motivate Charlie to balance his talking with attentive listening, reminding him that there's wisdom to be found in silence as well. After all, isn't it true that we learn more by lending an ear rather than using our voice?

Know-It-All Nick

Know-It-All Nick Nick always seems to have a response at the ready, often sidelining the ideas and perspectives of others. This attitude can suppress creativity and innovation, leading to a unidimensional approach to problem-solving. Let's bear in mind, diversity of thought is the flavor that enriches success.

However, shifting our perspective can offer a fresh view. While they may come across as a human encyclopedia, let's not forget that they are custodians of knowledge. Their insatiable appetite for learning can be a beacon, inspiring us to continuously strive for growth. After all, isn't it through accruing knowledge that we equip ourselves with power?

Knowledge undeniably equates to power, but wisdom is born from understanding. Inspire Nick to appreciate the ideas and viewpoints of others, cultivating an atmosphere of mutual respect and progression. After all, isn't it through embracing a diversity of thought that we truly foster innovation?

Being Thankful for Problem Employees

Master Happiness with Marty Jalove

So, what's the common thread linking these problem employees? They each pose a potential threat to your team's harmony, productivity, and ultimately, its success. However, let's not forget that every challenge also harbors an opportunity for growth. So, let's confront these issues with courage, instigate change, and keep our aspirations burning brightly. Because collectively, we have the power to transform these problems into prospects.

Remember, every cloud does indeed have a silver lining. Let's seize these positives, celebrate our individuality, and remind ourselves that we're more than just a team - we're a family. And as a family, we succeed.

Marty Jalove of Master Happiness is a Business Consultant, Corporate Coach, and Company Strategist that helps small businesses, teams, and individuals find focus, feel fulfilled, and have fun. Master Happiness stresses the importance of realistic goal setting, empowerment, and accountability in order to encourage employee engagement and retention.

The winning concentration is simple: Happy Employees attract Happy Customers and Happy Customers come back with Friends.

Learn more about Master Happiness at or


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