The most important components of a business are its employees. It’s essential that employees work together with as little friction as possible. Dislike breeds conflict, and when that escalates, your company’s productivity plummets. 

You can try to mediate between conflicting parties all you want, but some personalities are just made for conflict. People with these personality types rub off on their colleagues the wrong way and before you know it, human resources has their hands full. And no one’s doing any work. These types of problematic employees often find their way into your business when you don’t get the right staffing solutions. 

Without using a personality test for job applicants, these personality types can infiltrate your company and disrupt workplace productivity. 

 

1. The Narcissist AKA “What about me?”

It’s normal for people to think only of themselves from time to time, but with narcissists, they only ever care about themselves. You can spot a narcissistic employee through the following features: 

  • They have a hard time understanding other people’s side (lack of empathy) 
  • They exude an aura of arrogance 
  • They need attention and praise all the time 
  • They think they’re better than they are and exaggerate their skills and attributes 
  • They like using people to further their own ends 

These behaviors propel narcissists to high-level jobs, but they also make them arrogant and callous toward others, particularly to employees they regard as beneath them. They’ll have a hard time cooperating with others and dislike not being in the spotlight. 

 

2. The Gossipmonger AKA “You’ll never believe what I’m about to tell you!”

Although its fun to exchange news and opinions about fellow employees, gossipmongers take it a step too far. Their words affect the opinions of others and sow discord like nobody’s business. Gossipmongers  inflict a lot of damage to a company, such as: 

  • Their gossiping eats up time they and their audience could have spent working. 
  • They spread disinformation about company policies, like restructuring and reshuffles, and cause unnecessary panic. 
  • Worst of all, they could spread word that another employee is involved in something illegal, which could end in a lawsuit. 

A single gossipmonger breeds distrust among their colleagues and could even cost your business legal fees. If loose lips sink ships, then a gossipmonger is a primed torpedo. 

 

3. The Rage Machine AKA “YOU CAN’T TALK TO ME THAT WAY!”

People shut up when they pass by and laughter stops when they arrive. Everyone is on edge when they’re around. The Rage Machine can have very specific anger points (like printers with no ink, someone touching their things) or they could be set-off by anything they don’t like. 

Verbal confrontations and outbursts are common, but its when they get physical that Rage Machines really threaten your employee’s safety. You can use the following advice to deal with your office Rage Machine. 

  • Perpetuate a professional company culture. Make it understood that outbursts are not welcome in your company. 
  • Train employees on communication to prevent misunderstandings that could become outbursts. 
  • Take incidents of rage seriously. Don’t avoid dealing with a Rage Machine. If you think they pose a serious threat to your employee’s safety and morale, show them the door. 

With some hard work and a lot of time, you can reach out to these personality types. With more effort, perhaps you can even get them to understand how their behavior is affecting the workplace. However, doing so is mere damage control. 

Instead of learning how to put out fires, implement a hiring process that prevents such damaging incidents. Keep the disruptive personalities away from your company, and you maintain the morale and productivity that sustain your business.