When a new employee comes in with confidence, it’s normally seen as a boon. However, if that self-confidence shifts to arrogance, you may find yourself stuck dealing with a classic know-it-all.  

Most know-it-all employees give the distinct impression that they think they are always right. They might frequently interrupt their colleagues, offering their perspective as a form of correction or in an attempt to steal the spotlight. In some cases, the worker might even be condescending toward management, shooting down ideas from those above them with the same level of ease.  

Having a know-it-all in your midst is challenging. Over time, their attitude harms the team, dragging down morale, quelling innovation, damaging communication, and disrupting collaboration.  

Luckily, there are things you can do to handle a new employee who thinks they could run the place. Here’s how to get started.  


Address the Problem Directly  

Sometimes, your best course of action is to address the problem directly. Schedule a closed-door meeting with the new employee and prepare a few specific examples that show how their actions are harming the team. Avoid being accusatory or making it personal. Instead, rely on facts that clearly articulate your point. Explain how, in the context of their job, their behavior is harmful.  

Then, you can create a plan together for correcting the issue. With constructive criticism and follow-up steps (including future meetings), you can coach the new employee, ensuring they are meeting your expectations and acting appropriately.  

Alternatively, you can challenge the new hire’s assertions when they are delivered. For example, if they repeatedly interject during meetings, once they make a point, respond with a follow-up question. You could ask them where they got their data or information and how it proves that their approach is best. By asking for more details, they may learn that they shouldn’t take over a conversation until they have all of the facts, and that could make such occurrences less frequent.  

If the new employee is actively interrupting another team member, you may need to cut off the new hire. By informing them that the other person wasn’t done speaking and giving the floor back to that employee, you are showing that interrupting is not acceptable and won’t be tolerated.  

Shift Their Role

At times, you can make headway by altering the new employee’s role in the situation. For example, instead of them being a participant in every brainstorming meeting, put them in the position of moderator on occasion. Let them know that they must keep the conversation focused and the session running smoothly, and that contributing shouldn’t be their focus at that time. This may allow them to see the value their teammates bring to the table while also teaching them about listening and effective collaboration.  

Just make sure to rotate moderates on occasion. Otherwise, you risk singling the new employee out, and that might not be ideal.  

By using the tips above, you can handle a new employee who thinks they could run the place. While it can take a bit of time, it is worth the effort.


Looking to Learn More?

If you’d like to find out more about dealing with a know-it-all team member, the professionals at PrideStaff can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled staff members today and see how our expertise can benefit you. 




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