[aa_subtitle_display]Sometimes, you get to work with a great employee. Other times, you have to work with an employee who just thinks she’s great. This is an entitled employee. We’ve all worked with one at some point in our careers, you may even have an example popping into your head right now. Entitled employees overvalue their talent and contributions, feel that others treat them unfairly, and feel they deserve things that they haven’t yet earned. They feel that they are owed something (like a raise, promotion, etc.) just for showing up to work. As a result of these feelings, they are less satisfied with their jobs and may pick fights, exhibit selfish behavior, underperform, and misbehave. When you’re running a business, you have enough to deal with without having to babysit an entitled employee. They can be difficult to work with, but here are some ways to manage entitled employees in a positive way.
1. Treat Employees Equally – Sometimes it seems easier to give in to the entitled behavior just to keep the peace in the workplace. You’re feeding into the entitled employee’s attitude. Instead, treat the entitled employee as you would any other employee, with the same consequences or rewards for the same expected behaviors. Try to let the entitled employee realize that they are on the same level as their peers. Entitled employees often think that they are being treated unfairly, but you can point out that you are treating everyone equally.
2. Choose Your Words Carefully – When praising employees, make sure that you’re not further feeding into the entitlement. Remember, entitled employees think that they’re more special than others. When praising any employee, thank them for their hard work, but avoid saying things like the employee is the best you’ve ever seen in their position, etc.
3. Set Clear Expectations – Tell all of your employees exactly what you expect of them so that they won’t misinterpret your directions. Give clear, measurable goals so employees will not be able to claim that they followed your directions if they’ve been underperforming. Give feedback and even present consequences if employees still underperform.
4. Give Rewards Strategically – If you have a weekly staff treat as a reward (like donuts,) staff will expect that treat every week regardless of whether they’ve met their goals. Instead, give rewards only when goals have been met. Make the rewards more random, like change up the day of the week when you deliver the reward, so that staff will not expect it regularly.
5. Do What Is Needed for Your Company – Sometimes, there is no way to reform an entitled employee. If you have tried various measures and she is still up to her old, entitled tricks, you have to do what is best for your business and let her go.