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Gifted, but Difficult, Employees

Dear Tied:

Ah, yes, the Teflon employee, who can flout rules with impunity, usually because of top-notch skills or familial connections. I asked Gary Yeatts, who has 30 year's HR experience and is owner and life coach of Clarity Technologies, for his take on your problem. "Doing nothing is not an option," he says. "Your 'eccentric genius' is breaking company rules and affecting your team's productivity."

Take this as an opportunity to develop your leadership skills, Yeatts suggests. Let Ms. Teflon know that, while you appreciate her skills and talents, creating a supportive team environment is one of your top priorities. Give her an opportunity to voice any legitimate issues she has with co-workers, but make it clear that her expressions of disdain are counterproductive.

Also, you might want to ask HR if the company would spring for some team-building sessions.

Dear Career Coach

HR has announced plans to evaluate our IT department in light of some new government regulations regarding overtime. I have some key staffers who make a fair amount in overtime pay, and I don't have leeway to increase their salaries. I'm afraid I'll lose them if their OT is taken away.

We Want our OT

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