It’s easy to dislike stalkers and snitches with personal vendettas.  But you can’t fire them just because they’re relentless, stir up conflict and waste your time and energy, can you? Most of us dislike snitches.  And there are rules and laws against stalking someone in the workplace.

But if you’re a manager, someone who tells you about things your other employees are doing wrong can seem helpful.  A snitch doesn’t always look like a snitch if you’re the beneficiary, not the target or victim, of their tattling.  And they can provide useful information about serious problems you may not be aware of.

For example:

To read the rest of this article from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, see: Snitches, vendettas hurt productivity

Did Hazel do her boss a favor by being a snitch?  Maybe – if there weren’t more to the story.  Snitches are toxic, bullies who often beat others with trivial rules.

What can you do if you have a sneaky, manipulative, control-freak like Hazel working for you?  Even though they’re toxic, the answer can be tricky.

You certainly don’t want to discourage employees from reporting serious problems – criminal activity, safety problems and the like.  But you should be wary of any employee who’s always telling you about the faults of other employees.  There’s a good chance you have a snitch and stalker on your hands.

Where and how do you draw the lines?  You may want to put some restrictions in place.  For example:

If you manage an employee with Hazel-like obsessions, you’re not helping her or your team by encouraging stalking and snitching.  You’re creating a scenario that will destroy your teamHarassment, bullying and negativity will increase, other team members will start abusing each other, meetings will become charades with hidden agendas and character assassination, and morale will plummet.

Instead, stop stalking, personal vendettas and snitching before they start.  Focus on individual and team performance.

Learn what you can do to eliminate the high cost of snitches’ low attitudes.

All tactics are situational.  Expert coaching and consulting can help you create and implement a plan that fits you and your organization.