How to manage the office Guy Fawkes
(or how to deal with a rebellious personality)

It's 1605 (sorry, 16:05) and the Autumn twilight of a November evening replaces the auburn mise en scene that sits beyond the office window.

Now whilst your workforce may be meandering towards the finishing line of the 9-5 rat race, your very own Guy Fawkes is ready to create a Dick Dastardly diversion in an explosion of independent thought and anarchic intention.

Though you may have hired them for that innovative spark that has the potential to set the office alight, their inconsistent character and resistance to authority makes them a threat to the office harmony. Learning to manage them however, could see you mould them into a star performer who could be ready to make your business take off.

Don't explode

It can be easy to lose the plot when you're consistently being challenged, but there's nothing Guy would love to see more than watch the power blessed around them explode in a frenzy of frustration. Though it's a general rule of thumb to always remain calm and professional in the workplace, it's even more important when dealing with a hot-headed employee. Some people just like to cause a reaction and knowing that you're going to defuse the situation will likely see them fall back into line.

Take your fingers out of your ears

Though you might be concerned that an idea laden employee could soon turn your office into the set of Tiswas, completely ignoring their suggestions will only create the disillusionment that radiates off a much older Chris Tarrant. You don't want to discourage creativity and colour in the workplace, so take time to listen to Guy and discuss how they want to invest the company budget into buying barrels and moustache combs. They won't all be good ideas, but eventually you'll strike gold and your employee will feel valued too.

Let them sparkle

If you're fed up of the burns that come from fighting with fire, you might want to consider giving your troublesome star performer the chance to sparkle. You'd be surprised what a little bit of responsibility can do for someone who's forever contesting those at the top. Whether you promote them or just give them a voice, bestowing a position of authority means that they'll become a part of the very thing that they're fighting against (and they're probably less likely to blow the place up).

Set boundaries

Even if they are one of your leading lights, an employee who is continually causing problems needs to be aware that the same rules apply to them as they do to everybody else. If their defiant ways are forever going unpunished, their attitude will never change and you could soon have a mini rebellion on your hands. When an employee brings so much to the business, it can be easy to let things slide, but even a child genius needs some time on the naughty step.

Fire them

While it's always a last resort, you can't keep going back to something that might do nothing more than fizzle. Though they may be a loss in the short term, you're Guy Fawkes character is likely to be diverting your attention away from other employees who could be ready to make your business take off. It might not be completely necessary to fire them, but if you find yourself signing for inexplicable deliveries of a black powdery substance, it's definitely time to get rid.


The office is made up of a selection box of personalities and your rebellious rocket needs to be handled with the most care. Manage to to do this however, and your business could soon be going off with a metaphorical bang.

Happy Bonfire Night!