Five Ways Employees Drive Us Crazy

Jan 24, 2020 at 12:02 pm by pj




Let’s dive into the five ways employees drive managers CRAZY and how to deal with it in order to improve communication, set boundaries and get stuff done.


#1 They do not listen

Employees don’t follow directions; they never follow up and they forget information. Why? Well, you are probably talking at them rather than have a conversation with them.  Perhaps you are giving too much detail or not enough.

Here is a great example of confusing instructions while driving a vehicle. There are these fancy things at an intersection now called roundabouts. If you are using a driving direction app, Waze to be specific, and go through two similar roundabouts, one set of directions says, “take the 2nd exit” while the next one says, “go straight.”  Why not be consistent? Clarity really is the key in communication. Here is the thing – people process information differently. Your job is to figure out how their invisible responder works and deliver to their level (not your level). Be clear with deadlines and when you expect status updates.


#2 They make so many mistakes

Who reading this has ever made a mistake? Yes, all of us have. I make mistakes daily. Before you put them in HR jail, verify your communication details and remove judgement. Treat people like humans. Not too long ago, I was fed up with my employee. Every week, she took three hours on a report that should have taken 15 minutes.  Ultimately, I was the problem. I hired the right person but then changed the expectations of her job including adding report writing. She did not have this skill, so she needed time to learn it and I needed to not only back off but provide the time she needed to learn report writing.


#3 They have no common sense

I am sorry to tell you, but common sense is not a sense at all. It is a skill.  Skills are not innate.

You are not born with them, this isn’t Maybelline!

When employees don’t get the tools and training to do their jobs well, they fail. Essentially, employees are set up for the failure rather than success. You set them up for failure. Your job as a manager is to be checking for confirmation that they actually understood your marching orders and to provide the tools and resources they need to be successful.


#4 They have entitlement mentality

Well, don’t go blaming the youngest generation on this. At one point, it was baby boomers who felt entitled. They wanted equal pay and rights for women in the workplace. How dare them! You see, it is always the youngest people who affect change. Their parents tell them they can do anything and be anything. Then we as society get upset when they actually believe it and put in the effort to change the world. You see, we are more alike than different.  We all want more, expect more and strive for more.

With that said, if an employee’s knowledge skills and abilities do not fit the job or project need – they will never work out. End of story. Your job as a manager is also to hire the right person, train them for the job at your company, and hold them accountable by setting boundaries in the form of behavior and performance expectations.


#5 They just don’t care

Why should they care about you and your company when you don’t explain anything? How does the employee tie into accomplishing the company or department goal? Do they know this?

Or is that so super-secret that it is on a need to know basis?

Let’s put it this way, employees think “l can’t care about the purpose until I understand it.” According to Harris Interactive, only 37 percent actually understand your purpose. That is astounding! So how do you fix this?

Talk about the Mission, Vision and Values often – explain it in interviews and in team meetings.

Talk about them in performance conversations.  Use them as reasons to tell employees yes - or in some cases, no.

The bottom line is that employees feel unappreciated. When employees feel like the sacrifices they make, the extra effort they put in, and the great job they do is taken for granted, they gradually learn that what they do doesn’t matter. So, they stop doing it.


Ask yourself, am I part of the problem? Then and only then can you affect change and stop your employees from driving you crazy.


Wendy Sellers, MHR, MHA, SHRM-SCP,  SPHR  has a master's degree in Human Resources, a master's degree in Health Care Administration, is a passionate HR Consultant,  Trainer, Advisor, Leadership Coach, Author, and Speaker. She has worked with hundreds of corporations and associations conducting management training, leadership development and HR advisory services leading to positive and productive corporate cultures. She has experience as an HR Executive and Practitioner, an HR Advisor, a Board Advisor/ Board Member, and an adjunct faculty member. Visit