How to manage needy employees

As a manager, you will encounter a wide range of employees and work styles. While some are independent and forward thinking, others are less self-assured and need constant guidance. For the needy employees, there are particular ways to properly manage that will not only help them with their current tasks, but will also encourage them to be more independent in the future.

Pinpoint the source of the neediness

You don’t have to be a psychiatrist to diagnose causes of employee insecurities. Consider first the office environment: are employees being laid off or criticized harshly? This could lead to an employee feeling tense and vulnerable. Secondly, review the employee’s previous experiences with leadership. Were they once led by micromanagers who failed to provide them direction or helpful feedback? Considering these factors will help you to better empathize with their confidence issues and will help you to be a more effective leader.

Talk it out

It’s vital that you connect directly with the employee demonstrating these particular behaviors. They are already feeling unconfident so be sure to do everything you can to make them feel comfortable talking with you. Let them know that you are aware of their continued need for reassurance and ask what you can do as their manager to make them feel more self-reliant. Boost their ego by giving them positive feedback on their job performance but make sure they understand that their neediness is inefficient. Listen carefully to how they respond and then coach them on adjustments they can make.

Set boundaries and review

Needy employees appreciate you being there for them, but you need to set clear boundaries. Improvements can’t be made if they continue to rely on you. Be very explicit with them on your expectations and the importance of breaking their destructive patterns. If the needy employee is unable to correct their behaviors it may be time for a more serious conversation about job performance.


Wendy Moody

Wendy Moody

Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps ... Web: Details