Hi Team,
I have one of my team member who just delivers what is expected out of her. But she does not want to contribute anything to the team. Even when we ask her for any suggestion she is not offering any.
When I asked her for any complaints in the team, she did not state anything. Any questions we ask the answers are very blunt and one word answers.
The management is not ready to lose this employee because she is SME(Subject Matter Expert), for me it is becoming a nightmare in handling this employee in any team activity.
Please suggest me ways I can handle this kind of team members..

From India, Chennai
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Sr Generalist - Hr
+2 Others


Call her into your cabin and talk to her politely. Tell her how important is her contribution towards the team goal. Appreciate her work and slowly try to know what is she going through. There might be some reason behind her reservedness. hence, try to know it in soft manner. Talk to the people who are close to her. Try to involve her in group activities. If required, relate it to work. Encourage her and see whether there will be any change in her.
Thanks & Regards,
Srilakshmi Korukonda

From India, Hyderabad

There could be many reasons to this situation.
I would like you to talk to her previous employer (if there was any) and see what was the situation in that company.
There are people who have different personalities (or in some cases borderline disorders) so you need to know if this is her personality type or is there something going in her life at this point in time. (Divorce, illness at home)
I would like to know how is this impacting her work? Is there a part of her work that requires her to mingle with people and talk?
Have you tried to ask her suggestions or questions in e-mail form ever?
Have you conducted any fun-based activity or get together and observed her behavior?
Most importantly, you or the line manager need to communicate precisely as to what do you expect out of her in terms of team work.
The line manager might have to change her KRAs and explain it to her the ways of collaborating with the team.

From India, Delhi

I wonder whether you having nightmares is because of your reaction to her behavior. According to you she is an SME. I do not know what field you work in; are you aware of Belbin's Team Roles? If you are not, please see Belbin's Team Roles From that you will notice that her behavior fits that of a SME.
From United Kingdom

1. You have now to necessarily adopt the maxim essential strategy of ' I am ok - you are ok '.
2. There is seldom an ideal situation for a HR to deal with attitudinal and work place abbe rations, minor or major. It is for him to create ideal terms there at.
3. You can never change an unchangeable person in an unchangeable context. Yes, but you can in all possibility change the present situation, to change such unchangeable / s.
4. Never confirm yourself that you are quite perfect in assessing the reasons and gravity of such complex situations. Try to act as less imperfect as possible.
Last but not the least, foremost, seek create for both of you a real ' off - the office environment ', to deal with this problem, if any along with your another HR sagacious colleague / s, who are reasonably well known moderation skills.
Kindly post me / other thread friends with the developments in the matter thereafter, so that we continue to apply our minds to help you..

From India, Mumbai

Hai members,
very interesting queries are coming in this platform. Some people do not want to argument or open on the issues. They may have ideas but put in simple form but not in elaborate way. Due to lack of language or timeliness. Such people shows the perfectness and speed while do the work alone.
In case such people cooperation needs in the work, time to time approach is helpful in team work.

From India, Visakhapatnam

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