People don’t quit jobs. Workers quit negative bosses, and negative employees. Over 80% of employees surveyed in recent studies said job satisfaction is most affected by the behavior of their coworkers. Almost 100% of responders to a massive survey said they disliked their work said their primary aversion is to one specific coworker who is a negative employee. They’re unpleasant, aggressive, withdrawn, or worse.
In any operation, most of the staff will look for ways to work together and achieve together. Unfortunately, some people prefer to stir things up. Gossip, controversy, and negativity are obstacles to peace and productivity.
Why you haven’t fired them already
Even more unfortunate, many bosses feel sorry for these Negative Nancys and Angry Adams, and keep them on because “no one else would ever hire them.” Or, “I can’t fire her. She knows too much, and no one can replace her.” Or, and this one really drives me crazy, “If he knows he’s being fired, who will train his replacement?”
Seriously? Whose poor management plan was that? Who gave this person so much power that they can hold the whole company hostage? Who does their job when your problem employee goes on vacation? Short term inconvenience will be replaced by long term growth, but you have to take the difficult step.
The real cost
The problem of a bad attitude infects everyone else. People start to dislike being at work. Holding yourself to a high standard of performance and behavior is tough if your corporate culture is full of negativity. When someone be trash-talking about the company, chronically late, using excessive foul language, sexist or racist behavior, drinking on the job, or even stealing or falsifying records it’s hard to focus on high performance. Whatever it is, you can’t pretend it doesn’t have an affect. Of course it does! (What’s it like when a friend or loved one is in a bad mood?) Like any problem, these things start small, but as they are tolerated they grow rapidly.
Your team is operating at reduced productivity at a minimum. Depending on the size of your organization, and the number of staff who need to interact with the negative employee, that can represent thousands to millions of dollars. You’re suffering damage to employee morale that creates job seekers (read flight risks.) As you know, recruiting, interviewing and onboarding a new employee costs a fortune. And you still haven’t removed the problem, so turnover will remain higher than necessary.
Do your team a favor. Remove the obstacle staffer, and clean up the example set for your employees. You have warned, discussed, reprimanded, and threatened your problem employee for the last time. They are not irreplaceable, and keeping them may cost you the best parts of the rest of your staff!
The worst choice
The absolute worst choice you can make in this situation is to do nothing. Things will only get worse if you don’t act- they always do, every single time. The first runner-up bad choice is you fire the bad apple without a plan, and end up bringing them back on staff.
To sum up, you need to make a plan to remove the negative employee. Accept that there are going to be some inconveniences and skinned knees, and show that troublemaker the road. Your organization will begin improving immediately!