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We’ve all seen it before – that one co-worker who is always on top of things. He has the ability to foresee problems and address them before the company loses money or maybe he’s the one who all of your clients rely on. But what if this same employee has allowed his ego or attitude get in the way and as a result, has become a bit of a challenge? Whether it’s an inability to get along with his co-workers or a sense of self-entitlement that has him believing he can take time off on a moment’s notice, regardless of how it will affect the workflow, A. Harrison Barnes says these employees can quickly become a liability. Employers can find themselves wondering if it’s worth the trade-off.

So what can a company do who doesn’t want to lose that bright manager, but who needs to be reined in? Barnes, who is the founder of and is a renowned career coach, offers these tips:

• It’s important to remember, this employee might be your brightest star, but he’s still an employee and is accountable just as your other employees are. Keeping that in mind will allow you to keep it in perspective.

• Have a private meeting with this employee. It may be he has some legitimate points, and if so, this is an ideal time to hear them for a couple of reasons. First, you’re less likely to put him on the defense and will allow you to better make your point. Secondly, it’s always a good idea to hear what any employee has to say. This is yet another way that you’ll be able to keep perspective.

• Explain to him that he’s accountable to the same guidelines everyone else follows and failure to do so opens up the possibility of a formal reprimand.

• Don’t buckle under threats; bottom line is if he threatens to resign, and you buckle, you’re only setting the scenario that includes him feeling even more entitled.

• If you do threaten reprimand, recognize that one of your responsibilities as a manager is to follow up if it comes to that.

• If there’s any one employee who’s having more trouble with this employee than the others, you’ll want to also have a meeting with that employee too, just so you have a complete understanding and will be able to approach it fairly.

Finally, A. Harrison Barnes points out that there it may be this employee just isn’t a good fit. At that point, you have a couple of options. You can either transfer him or let him go. Ideally, letting him go isn’t your best option, so it’s to both of your benefits to try to come to some agreement that will allow him to keep working his magic, but without alienating the rest of your employees in the process. The founder says even if you do lose him, there are other shining stars ready to rise to the occasion and it may be another’s is even brighter.

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