The greatest loss of a company’s vital strength is usually the continual loss of productivity caused by poor performers and “rotten apples” – people with low attitudes and negative, bullying, abusive, destructive behavior. Often, this steady draining is overlooked as a background fixture because it doesn’t show up on one specific budget line
To read the rest of this article from the Denver Business Journal, see:
How to stop bullying at work: Respond immediately to the early warning signs
Don’t look the other way because you’re too busy or worry that it will be too difficult to remove a troublesome employee or question your own judgment or fear that replacement people will be too hard to find or too costly. These excuses aren’t sufficient compared to the hidden costs in low morale and productivity, and high sick leave and turnover. Generally, 95% of your people-problem time will be spent on problems caused by 5% of your people. Despite wishful thinking, infections don’t heal by themselves.
You don’t have to be a therapist to see the early warning signs. You do have to be savvy enough to understand the value of lancing an infection before you need transfusions or of antibiotics before gangrene sets in. Respond rapidly to the early warning signs in order to isolate the plague carriers from the employees who can elevate their productivity in response to caring, feedback and training.
Learn to stop harassment, bullying and abuse in its initial stages by responding swiftly and effectively to early warning signs.
Some early warning signs (see original article for details). Beware of people who:
- Proudly express negativity, envy, blame, excuses, self-righteousness and name tags like, “professional critic”; who don’t listen to or value your concerns or who don’t understand why other people do what they do.
- Continually push the boundaries and limitations; say they’re entitled to whatever they want; insist that you bend or justify the rules; up-level demands as soon as you give in; jump to conclusions; take things personally or think in all-or-none terms; refuse to accept appropriate responsibility to produce until you make conditions absolutely perfect for them according to their standards.
- Disrespect coworker’s rights or privacy; sarcastically criticize others in public or in private; refuse to praise or reward when appropriate; take all the credit but not a share of the responsibility; resist legitimate authority and accountability.
- Have no heroes or mentors.
Teach yourself to recognize and document problems while they’re still molehills. Notice when you repeatedly avoid or appease employees because it’s distasteful to deal with them or when you feel drained just thinking about them. Pay attention to which workers you mentally carry like monkeys on your back. Be aware of whose slack always needs picked up by others.
Begin feedback and corrective action on day-one of probation. Act as if the chances of getting sued by rotten apples increases by 1% each day you let them stay without documenting their behavior.
Your best safeguards are continual evaluation, documentation and determined willingness to treat problems immediately, before the infection spreads.
Employees should scrutinize bosses using the same criteria.
The best way to stop terminally resistant, controlling, toxic, bullying employees and managers who destroy teamwork and productivity is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and organizational consulting.