We spend a great deal of time at work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ time use surveys, we spend an average of 7.6 hours working each and every work day. After a short period of time, we find out if the job we have is an activity we enjoy or something we dislike. And because our coworkers, colleagues, and superiors spend so much time working with us, they can quickly find out whether we are star performers or if we are one of those employees who barely gets by.
We frequently hear data, facts, and stats about employee engagement. The results of a Gallup poll published late last year found that 63 percent of employees worldwide were not engaged at work, and another 24 percent were actively disengaged. This left only 13 percent who said they were, in fact, engaged in their workplace.
Sure, engagement plays a role in how workers perform day to day. If an employee enjoys what she is doing, she is likely going to try harder and perform to the best of her ability. On the other hand, with all of the data on engagement, poor leadership, and problems within business cultures, sometimes we forget the undeniable truth — that not all employees are created equal.
There are good employees and bad employees in every workplace. Sometimes, when an bad employee is simply just that — a bad employee — we try to find a reason behind it. Maybe he’s disengaged, maybe it’s his boss, or maybe he’s having trouble managing the work-life balance. The truth of the matter is that maybe that employee is simply not a good fit for the position; you can’t fit large circle into a small square.
Using reports from Salary.com, Forbes, and Entrepreneur, we identified some of the best and worst types of employees. Of course, no one fits perfectly into any one of these categories, but which one sounds the most like you?
Best Types of Employees
1. Mr. or Ms. Motivated
This employee is the office overachiever. He has always been a high achiever — in school, throughout his life – and he has always excelled beyond the standard. It may be the way he was raised, or it may be something else that inherently drives him, but those who know him are aware of his motivation. This employee is almost always eager to take on new projects and tasks.
“This person doesn’t have to be the best or the most talented, but they are always willing to take a chance. They aren’t afraid of making the first move, or being wrong. They have great levels of self-confidence and they’re willing to bet on their success,” writes Salary.com.
2. The Reliable One
You can always count on the reliable one. She is always on time and always turning in assignments on or before her deadline. This type of employee rarely takes sick days and often ends up being the boss’s go-to person.
3. The Resourceful Problem Solver
This employee will almost always figure it out. He evaluates his environment and finds areas in which the business can be run more efficiently. We’re not referring to someone who simply goes on and complains about how this or that about the business environment isn’t working — the problem solver calmly and rationally assesses each situation, finds weaknesses, and develops an appropriate solution.
4. The Leader
An effective leader motivates others, is always thinking ahead, and is flexible and adaptive. She is skilled at delegating responsibilities to others based on their individual strengths.
“Employers are always seeking responsible leaders who’ve developed their skills and honed their talents to manage people successfully. Talent is one thing, but if you don’t have someone who can harness that talent and manage it to achieve the best results then you’re in trouble,” according to Salary.com.
5. Mr. or Ms. Total Package
The total package is a mix of all of the best qualities: he is a reliable and motivated leader with strong problem-solving abilities. He is also creative, positive, and strategic. Employees who truly possess all of these qualities are generally the most successful individuals.
Worst Types of Employees
1. The Houdini
Now you see her, now you don’t. The Houdini is always finding reasons to miss work, she seldom arrives to work on time, and when she does show up to work, she’s finding ways to avoid doing what she’s supposed to complete.
Sure, sometimes employees have personal health or family issues that cause them to temporarily miss work for periods of time. But this is not the case for the Houdini. She behaves for just long enough to get her foot in the company door, and then you see her true colors.
2. The Negative Nancy
There’s little anyone can do that will please the Negative Nancy. He is unhappy with various company policies and protocol. You may even hear him complain about the cosmetics of the building or the outfit someone is wearing.
Not only is the Negative Nancy a downer, but he bad-mouths the company to his friends, family, and virtually anyone who will listen. This type of employee is bad for business and for morale.
3. The Rebel Without a Cause
The rebel thinks of herself as the “truth teller.” She thinks she’s the one who has the courage to be honest, the one who has the guts to say what everyone else is thinking. She thinks of herself as the mini-worker’s union, headquartered in the third cubicle from the left.
However, this type of employee can cause some serious trouble. Everyone has to follow rules they dislike sometimes. When someone sets a “challenge the rules” tone in the office, order can quickly turn to disorder.
4. Mr. or Ms. Shady
You can’t trust a shady employee. This type of employee manipulates, lies, and maybe even steals from the business. When he is working on a shift, other employees keep a close eye on the cash register. Little things continue to happen that involve the shady employee, and something just doesn’t seem right.
5. The Lazy Susan
The Lazy Susan doesn’t like to be bothered. She shows up to work each day and you can always find her sitting at her desk doing the absolute bare minimum. She has very little (if any) drive or motivation, and she will rarely (if ever) volunteer to complete new projects or tasks. She will only do what she needs to in order to keep her job, and nothing more. She does her best to keep quiet, because if someone notices her, she fears she may be asked to complete additional work.