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How to Manage Creative Yet Difficult Employees


Sometimes your most creative employees can get pretty moody, other times their behaviour is simply erratic, and every once in awhile you come across their sheer arrogance. The only problem is that these employees are so talented, you can’t just let them go. How can you figure out how to manage these creative, yet often-difficult employees?

First, show them support and allow them to fail. Even if they have an idea that is completely crazy and is likely to never see the light of day, let them chase it and and show them support while they do so. This is how the most innovative ideas are born — by taking a leap.

As a general rule, try to keep the creatives away from each other. These personalities often clash, but surrounding them with ‘boring’ people can be just as bad. A study actually found that teams work best when they are full of diverse personalities. So the best way to support your creative employees is by placing them in teams of people that will support their ideas and work on said ideas with them.

One way managers often stifle creativity is by putting too much pressure on their employees. Creativity can only be encouraged through a sense of freedom. Adding too much structure and order to the process will only stifle the thing that makes them so great to begin with. Let them work remotely, or spend an afternoon working from a coffee shop. Let them make their own hours, and don’t add pressure by asking too many questions about what they are doing.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Lastly, show your creative employees just how important they are. All employees need to feel valued, and it’s important to identify the team members that always go above and beyond to produce great work.

To learn more about how to manage difficult creatives, head over to Harvard Business Review.

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We want to hear from you! How do you manage creative employees? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments!

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(Photo credit: c Dmytro Konstantynov –

Marissa Brassfield
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