Four types of team members (and how to train them)

So, you just inherited a new team. You’re a first-time manager and you’ve been told the team has some issues already.

What do you do?

You can’t manage everyone the same way. Your employees bring their own biases, skills and failures to work every morning. People are motivated by different desires. This is called adaptive leadership, and it is essential to understand if you want to develop your skill set.

For this blog, let’s assume your employees are competent at their job (but you shouldn’t). Here are a few common team member archetypes and some tips to train them.

The Veteran

What they do: They’ve seen it all and done it all. Take on new work without a hard eye roll and sigh? I don’t think so.

Where they are: In the break room, right now, talking shit about you to Cheryl.

Your move: Veterans often break two ways: Either they become your biggest ally or your worst nightmare. Try to get a sense if they are burned out or if they nee new challenges. Be willing to listen to them and allow their input. They know what you don’t. Avoid letting them tell you what they think about everyone in the office. You need to wake them up, win their loyalty and re-engage them.

The New Kid

What they do: They smile a lot. They tell weird jokes. They literally cannot. stop. looking. at. their. phones. They’re on Snapchat — a lot. Oh, and they break things.

Where they are: Live-streaming themselves while a small fire burns behind them.

Your move: If you hired well, the new kid will come around — it just takes time. Put the time into mentorship. Give them challenging work, explain why it’s important and watch them closely.

The Diva

What they do: One thing, really well and lots of conflict. By the way, the diva is not specific to any gender.

Where they are: They went home because they just couldn’t even — so they didn’t.

Your move: This may or not be the person making everyone else miserable. They might even try to “win you over.” Stay the course. Set clear expectations and hold everyone — yourself and the diva included — to them.

The Team Player

What they do: The work.

Where they are: Working late tonight.

You move: It’s critical that you reward the behavior you want. Leverage your strengths. Take the time to train this person and provide them with more backup.

Who did we miss and how can you energize them? Let us know!