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Lead Your Team Managing

Intervention often Useless with Negative Employees

If it seems like employee with the chip on his shoulder gets even more obnoxious when you try to smooth things over, you are probably right.

A new study of employees who feel “entitled” reveals that they are not only frustrated with their jobs and abusive to fellow workers, but that attempts by their superiors to resolve the issue result in even more negativity .

The researchers found that individuals with strong entitlement-driven self-perceptions (the kind of person who thinks “I should be making a lot more money” or “I’m smarter than everyone else here”) can feel more frustrated and dissatisfied with their work lives than employees with a more objective view of their relative worth and their contributions.

That may not be big news to anyone who’s spent the day listening to a rotten apple spoil the bunch by complaining all day.  The more disconcerting finding is the fact that there’s doesn’t seem to be much you can do about it.

“Supervisors who increase communication with such employees can increase, rather than decrease, employee frustration,” said Paul Harvey, management professor at the University of New Hampshire, who conducted the study with Kenneth Harris, professor at Indiana University Southeast. “This finding gives us some insight about how managers might choose, or in this case not choose, to deal with entitled subordinates.”