Dealing with Difficult Employees - the NOTMICS

dealing with difficult employees
We've all had to deal with a difficult employee, but a NOTMIC is a specific type of difficult individual.  NOTMIC is an acronym for "No One Told Me I Couldn’t".
We're also all familiar with that section in an employee handbook that includes excruciatingly detailed conduct policies that communicate things like 'Don't consume alcohol while operating a crane'.  Those are the legalese policies that most employees roll their eyes at, such as Workplace Violence (don't use brass knuckles at work) or Code of Conduct (don't steal, break the law, or take illegal drugs).

The company near you usually includes those policies in their handbook to protect their business and their staff against the NOTMICS.  

What is a NOTMIC

(No One Told Me I Couldn’t)


NOTMICs are difficult employees but thankfully, an anomaly in most businesses.  A NOTMIC is the toxic employee who takes advantage of your lack of conduct policies or is a master at finding holes in them. They know the law inside out and use it for purposes outside of what they were meant for. They claim to require detailed instructions to cover every scenario about what is not acceptable in your workplace. 

Significant amounts of HR time, drama, effort, and ultimately money are spent communicating and dealing with NOTMICs - and eventually paying them to leave.  Some have made a career out of accumulating severance packages (and wealth) based on rules that are stacked in the NOTMIC's favor. 

NOTMICs’ are difficult employees who are bold and comfortable in their knowledge that in most cases, the onus is on you, the employer to spell out, accommodate, over-document, and often even tolerate employee poor performance and unacceptable behavior.

NOTMICs have figured out that they have the right to point the finger at their employer for their own poor performance or inappropriate conduct by declaring “You didn’t tell me” or “I didn’t know” or “No one told me I couldn’t”. These statements represent a belief that you need to accept and work with a NOTMIC’s behavior.  And guess what?  The courts often agree.

So why create protection policies just for them?  Because NOTMICS can cause a lot of damage and create significant liabilities for your company. And you just don't ever know when you're hiring one, because they often blend right in during the first 3 months. 

Bottom Line?  

Get your conduct policies and Employee Handbook in place and outsmart your workplace NOTMICs.  

Ariane Laird Vancouver

Ariane Laird is CEO & Founder of ConnectsUs HR, a company that provides tools & resources to quickly set up a Human Resources department.  
You can contact her directly from the Inquiry Type drop down menu.