One of those Characters
Below is a snippet from our new book, “The Effective Management of the Human Employee,” available now on Amazon. So, take a glance and see if you fit into any of these interesting characteristics, or if you know someone who does. I’m sure you can pick out a few in your own office. I only included 3 types but our book categorizes 7 of the most common types. To read more, click the book title link above.
If you don’t fall into any of these characteristics, but know of other traits we may have left out, please comment below. We would love to hear about them.
The Human Employee (HE)
Our habits, traits, and behaviors make us similar to each other despite our apparent differences. To become “an effective manager,” it would be crucial for you to have a better understanding of the “Human Employee.” So, throughout this book, we will be referring to the human employee as simply, “the HE” or just “HE.”
The HE is a multifaceted being requiring way more study than what we will be doing in these few chapters. Despite that, at least you will gain a better understanding, even if we don’t dive too deeply into the psychological part.
To make it easier, I have created a few HE types based on my time as a manager and employee. These types help best describe specific common characteristics of the HE. While these aren’t the only types you may come across as a leader; it is still an adequate starting guide.
The 3 Quirky Characteristics That Make Employers Cringe
The most common types of HEs fall under these categories;
- The Fearful Clinger
- The Entrepreneur Dreamer
- The Just Enough
The Fearful Clinger
This person is always in an internal frenzy. They hate their job, so they are continually chanting mottoes to boost their motivation and uplift their morale.
Their fear of losing the job they hate is always lingering in their minds. Which is why they are constantly on the lookout for confirmation and affirmation from others.
One example of a fearful clinger is Alex. He wakes up every morning at 6 am sharp, only to constantly hit the snooze button. The temptation to throw the alarm at the wall is held back by the realization that if he’s late, a write-up or warning may follow. He finally manages to push himself off the bed and drags his feet to the bathroom.
There, he stares longingly at his blurry reflection, waiting for his vision to clear up before he proceeds to trim his beard.
Lovingly kissing his wife goodbye, Alex proceeds to sit (for what seems like forever) in morning traffic before he arrives at his destination – work. With diminished enthusiasm, he slouches within his dimly lit cubicle and stares at the walls, wondering endlessly, “Why am I here? Can I do this job for the rest of my life?”
Good question. But the real miracle is Alex’s ability to relive the same repetitive and mundane routine without losing his sanity. The worst bit is, if he ever decides to take a glance over the endless pool of other gray cubicles surrounding his, he will see many of his colleagues with similar expressions. So why does he hunker down for the long haul instead of finding a new job?
The main reason is fear; it undermines him to the point of being at a standstill. For Alex, his fear of losing his job (which he despises) holds him prisoner. So he sticks it out, completing meaningless tasks, lacking contentment yet grateful for still having a job. Fear is the reason he stays clinging to the four walls of his gray cubicle. It is his self-inflicted limitations that actually keep him in a state of languor.
That is why I place Alex under the category of “The Fearful Clinger.”
He could leave his job and take a chance at finding new employment but fears the unknown. Instead, he performs countless acts of semi-miracles for an unimpressive wage at a thankless job.
As a manager, it is essential to identify the Alexs’ of the company.
They are disengaged but can be reengaged to appreciate their jobs. We will go more in-depth on how to handle this type in chapter 8 under the section titled, “The Air of Opportunity.”
The Entrepreneur Dreamer
The dreamer is one of the most contradicting types a HE could be. They are always dreaming of being their own boss, but remain employed by others.
While a dreamer is often thought of as a future entrepreneur, most of them opt for the security of a 9-5 job.
Mundane routines are not ideal for a dreamer as they find such tasks annoying.
A dreamer loves to take ownership of their project and works well independently.
A dreamer needs less to be nurtured and more to be free to strive in their career. Quite the attention seekers, they are.
They are usually good employees, given their determination and result-oriented traits. However, some shrivel in the workplace. The free-willed nature of the entrepreneur dreamer tends to make them work less-efficiently in a company employed environment. However, they often surpass their perceived expectations when working alone. If they are ever under a micromanagement system, they can become resentful, and their productivity may decline.
Let us look at Eliza, who is an entrepreneur dreamer. Her morning routine is similar to Alex – bleak and lacking the much-needed enthusiasm towards work.
Her attitude is, “If only my boss was not always on my back and would let me handle this project my way. I could manage this job way better than he could.”
Eliza is forced to work as part of a team with a supervisor who is constantly nagging. So, her real abilities are constrained by the resentment felt towards her boss.
This makes Eliza unwilling to give more than 50% effort towards the task. Not feeling completely invested, the job is not really worth her time, but due to her uncertainty of taking a risk and establishing her own business, she continues to stay on as an employee.
The situation is then worsened when she passes her negative attitude onto her peers.
Since dreamers are result-oriented and natural leaders, they typically flourish when placed in a position where they could lead. So, instead of being agitated with her boss, she would be more focused – dedicating her time to ensure each detail is carefully crafted to perfection, which is why we describe Eliza as an “Entrepreneur Dreamer.”
You will learn more about understanding this HE type and effective delegation in later chapters. For now, let’s continue.
The Just Enough
The mellowest of all HEs is the “just enough” type. This type only wants to do just enough work to keep from losing their job, unwilling to put forth full effort.
One might find them in the back of a meeting, trying their best to go unnoticed or to hide from being selected for a task. It is their job to ride others’ coattails, hoping someone else will do the work for them while they collect the paycheck.
Half effort work is their norm. They would not be caught dead volunteering for anything. While an individual from this category can have skills of great value, their lethargic nature results in low-motivation, which holds them back.
Let’s look at John, for example. John has been working in the same firm for a few years now. When he first joined, he was full of energy and displayed a positive attitude toward work. But as time went on, his motivation died.
He started dreading work and was no longer interested in his job.
John completed his work within the time frame but was not willing to spend a moment longer. While some of his colleagues would contribute to extra assignments for incentives, John would refrain from such activities. This HE type caps out their potential with the deliberate intent to not exceed.
He will only go so far, with no real desire to excel at any level. He is merely holding on for the check.
The just enough HE can be hard to navigate around. They are a particular type that requires a different approach. Often, simple re-engagement can help pull them back into being active or offering incentives that hit home with the “just enough” HE can also make the switch.
Throughout the book, you will gain the tools needed to help in this area, so don’t worry.
Check It Out!
You can check out the other 4 Quirky Characteristics and how to manage each type in our book. Download your copy today or order the paperback version. This book was listed as the #1 best seller in the office management category.
So, get yours now. You won’t regret it!