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Problem employees aren’t just irritating, they can also be financially draining for a business. Research shows that these employees can cost an organization up to $8,000 a day by eroding trust, reducing output and innovation, and lowering the motivation and cohesion of their work group, according to the Center for Creative Leadership.

To determine whether you’re a problem employee, reflect on your behavior.

In a recently published study, the CCL asked a sample of 214 leaders across the globe to characterize problem employees. The No. 1 response was poor job performance, followed by an inability to work well with others and not responding to coaching.

Here are the five most prevalent problem employee behaviors and how they play out in the workplace:

1. Poor job performance

Underperforming employees produce sub-par work that fails to meet expectations, which means those around them are forced to pick up the slack. Participants described these types of individuals using phrases such as “in over their head” and “failure to deliver.”

2. Doesn’t work well with others

Ask yourself how your colleagues treat you in the workplace. If they’re avoiding you or giving the cold shoulder, you could be guilty of this problematic behavior. Respondents identified this type of employee as someone others dislike and these individuals find it hard to form positive relationships with co-workers.


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3. Not responsive to coaching

This type of employee refuses to listen to and accept feedback. They’re “impervious” to any coaching or criticism and fail to make recommended improvements from their bosses, according to the Center for Creative Leadership.

4. Resistant to change

Change is inevitable in any organization and it’s a crucial element for personal and professional growth. But if you’re not open to change, whether that’s simply resisting it or outright refusal to change at all, then there’s a possibility that you’re a problem employee.

5. Never takes ownership

These problem employees repeatedly fail to take responsibility for their own actions and are more likely to blame those around them for their poor outcomes.

According to the Center for Creative Leadership, you shouldn’t fret if you notice some of those problem employee characteristics in your own behavior. The CCL notes that self-awareness is the first step to identifying and solving a problematic trait. Plus, self-improvement is an ongoing process.

You can take some immediate steps to rid yourself of these bad behaviors. The CCL suggests setting aside a small window of time, daily, to perform a self-evaluation of your own conduct and how it affects others. The organization also suggests that you seek out frank feedback from trusted colleagues or through a 360 assessment, in which you receive performance feedback from your supervisor and four to eight peers or subordinates.

Performing these types of evaluations will help you “better understand how others are experiencing you — right or wrong, good or bad,” the CCL reports.

Here’s the full list of 11 problem employee behaviors:

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