By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.cnhr.ca/
Do you have someone on your team who you think of as “high-maintenance”? What do we mean when we throw around that phrase? The workplace behaviours I’ve heard supervisors describe include:
Demanding the supervisor’s constant attention
Dependency, needing ongoing direction
Endless questions, concerns and problems with any work assignment.
Note that all these behaviours are inter-related. And they involve a pattern, not one-time events.
Recently, I came across the concept of the “Adversity Quotient.” Dr. Paul Stoltz defines the Adversity Quotient as “the capacity of the person to deal with the adversities of his/her life.” The high-maintenance employee has a low Adversity Quotient. Instead of meeting challenges with resilience, they blame others and make excuses.
And somehow there are always things going wrong in the lives of high-maintenance people. They are perennially at the centre of some sort of drama.
Up to a point, I’d say that it’s your job as a leader to rise to the challenges that high-maintenance employees bring to the workplace and help them make the most positive contribution possible. Some really high performers can be a challenge to manage or work with together on a team, yet the value they bring to the organization outweighs their less desirable behaviours.
If you find that you are continually avoiding or ignoring someone you consider a high-maintenance employee, it’s time to get analytical. Did they get proper training in the first place? Do they have objectively more on their plate than they used to have? Would they benefit from more structure, more directives from you, rather than a hands-off management style that their co-workers seem to prefer?
And what’s your part in this? Could your own instructions be clearer, or expressed more effectively for this person’s learning style? Could you be more generous with praise and appreciation to help build their confidence? Are you setting and upholding boundaries so that you get uninterrupted time periods to focus on others or your own work?
Or are you allowing the high-maintenance employee to cross those boundaries and take up your time whenever they want, even if you resent it?
After examining your role in the dynamic with the high-maintenance employee and resolving to change some of your own behaviours if needed, you can coach this person on alternative approaches they could take for a more productive work relationship. For example:
Let’s say you take all these steps and you notice some improvements – a little more self-sufficiency, fewer complaints, some follow-up on your suggestions. If that happens, be sure to let the person know you’ve noticed and you appreciate their efforts. People do more of what they receive positive reinforcement for doing. They tend to lapse back into old behaviours in the absence of that positive reinforcement.
If there’s no sustained improvement? If the high-maintenance employee is otherwise doing good work, you’ll just have to maintain your boundaries and be sure that they get no more than their fair share of your time and attention. If they are performing poorly, follow your steps for corrective action, just as you would for any other employee. •
News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.
Reach 10,000+ natural health store professionals via CNHR Magazine. CNHR is delivered by Canada Post six times per year to virtually every health food store across Canada. Retailers are your true sales force. So, get your product into more stores and get them selling for you.
Remember, your first sale is to the retailers. CNHR can get your message in front of them. Connect with the retailers who sell and recommend your product.
Put CNHR’s many resources to work for you: Display ads, Product Profiles, Trade Talk news in CNHR Magazine along with Facebook, CNHR web page, podcasts, inserts, videos posted to our website, sending product samples to stores…we have the access to Canada’s natural health retailers. Put our many resources to work for your company and products today.