Employee Prima Dona

Have you ever met a fellow employee that feels they are so vital to the business that without them the whole place would fall apart?  Sure you have, it seems that every company has at least one of these gems on staff who thinks the sun rises and sets at their command.

I had the unfortunate privilege to watch one of these people exercise a bit too much energy this past week in order to achieve her will over the manager.  The manager held firm, and yet the prima dona felt the need to go clear to the top and over this guy’s head in a last-ditch effort to get her way.

In the process of demanding that this policy she was fighting remain as it had been, she found herself losing not only the battles but the war.  Her credibility among management has suffered, and the peer group was just plain appalled.

What is interesting to me is what caused this employee to push the limits this time way past the line.  It started with management allowing her to be the center of attention in the past way more than was earned.  I believe that in this case and often in most prima dona cases that the employee was allowed to behave this way in the past, and her behavior was rewarded.  In other words, they got their way.

So should we be surprised that she went over the top this time?  Given this is a professional work environment I do expect better, but I can also understand that these behaviors have been rewarded in the past and so this is a result of management creating their own problems.

The learning point is to be fair to everyone, and give everyone their time in the spotlight.  Reward and recognize everyone’s achievements, and when a prima dona appears, check to see how much of the problem was something you helped to create.


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