What to do when your employees think they’re the boss?

Who is the boss in your business? You or your employees? Maybe some of you will think that it is your customers? It is highly likely that at some point in your career you will encounter an employee who thinks they know just about everything. Agree? 

If you are in a managerial position then you could experience such a situation. These are the most difficult types of employees to manage. If you point out a flaw in what they are doing, they tend to take the criticism harshly. It will be more difficult to work with them the longer that they are in the role, as they would tend to find ways to avoid being criticized like making excessive excuses or blaming co-workers.

Although understandable, we know that managing this type of employee is a time consuming burden. There are ways to better handle employees who think they know everything rather than losing your cool and bursting out shouting and cursing. 

  1. Talk to them in private – as much as you would like to be frank with them around their colleagues, as a manager, you may have to talk to them in a private space where they won’t feel humiliated. Explain in detail the problem from this employee and make sure that you re-establish hierarchy in the office so they remember their place. 
  1. Know the problem – there must be a reason why this employee is acting out thus, you must also try to understand where such inappropriate action is coming from. 
  1. Talk with humility – always remember that regardless of position, you and your employees are both human beings who have feelings. As you speak to them, be mindful of your language and try not to hurt their emotions. 
  1. Give them more responsibility – you could give them a project to manage, a task to complete, you could push them and get the most from them. If they are really as good as they think they are, it will benefit both of you. If they fail, they will realise that they are wrong and they will fall in line. 

Managing people is hard, because everyone is different. Understanding and communication is always the key to success. 

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