How do you handle a negatively disruptive unethical team member who is also a star performer with a virtually irreplaceable and critical skill-set

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Samuel is a star project performer, with a unique and very rare skill-set critical to your project. He comes up with brilliant ideas and is extremely productive.A dream project contributor, right? Not entirely.

Samuel is terribly arrogant, publicly humiliates other team members, and constantly causes conflicts by spreading baseless rumours.

Worse, he was recently proven to claim credit for another team member's work, and in the past, pilfering.

As Project Manager, this seems to be a "lose-lose" situation:

  • Keep Samuel in the team, and team morale suffers, bringing down overall productivity.

  • Releasing him will create a situation where critical tasks would be delayed, that would endanger the project.

Have you been in a similar situation? Is there a "win-win" way?

Aug 7, 2020 in PMP by anonymous
• 19,610 points

1 answer to this question.

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I would suggest having a 1:1 discussion with Samuel. Assuming you already attempted it to little avail, so based on your description, Samuel's behavior is breaking policy, not just "good team behavior" rules.

This is an HR issue for his people manager.

If there is no willingness from HR or his manager to do anything, probably think of getting him removed.

While there might be some effects on the project, the effects on the project team and associated stakeholders will persist far beyond the life of the project if you keep him around.
answered Aug 7, 2020 by Kiron

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