We all know the type. That one employee with the “glass-half-empty” life view. Nothing positive ever comes out of his mouth and he’s constantly putting down the company, the benefits, his pay. It’s just his personal approach until it starts to infect the other staff. Nearly every business owner has had to weigh the negative and positive impact of an employee. Is he irreplaceable? Are you afraid to fire him?
Well, let us empower you with a few tools to evaluate and address the situation from a business value perspective. Take a step back and view your business as a prospective buyer would: As if it is turn-key operation that can run without you and maybe without “Jim”, that stubborn, grumbly employee who takes too many smoke breaks and is the only one that can update your website or add new products to your inventory system. Maybe he is only one a large client will work with or knows who to call for critical tasks. Jim is probably dragging down other employees and impeding productivity. Your positive contributors likely resent the fact that Jim gets away with so much.
How do you deal? Clean him up or ship him out.
Even in a small organization, you must build redundancy into important tasks. Everyone needs a real vacation and you need backup should something happen to any one of your employees. Not only is this a great company move to improve logistics, spur new ideas and have better vacation coverage, but cross-training your staff adds value as an employee motivator. Your staff will understand each other better and have a stronger sense of security within your company by understanding how their tasks impact the rest of the team.
2. SMART Delegation & Accountability
Take a week and micro-manage him. Set Deadlines and Deliver clear objectives. Make sure you are setting him up for success by following some basic “SMART” delegation guidelines from the American Management Association. Ensure his delegated tasks are:
If you see real value in his work, then try a SMART delegation exercise for a week or so and work with “Jim” see if his attitude improves. Structure the exercise as a mini-project for yourself with a deadline and a set plan to remove him if you do not see marked improvements.
3. Protect Your Future
Wistful memories of the Gold Watch days are foreign to the younger generations today. Our workplaces are becoming more cloud-based and our workforces are more transient. Be certain to maintain a strong grip on the keys to your kingdom. Work with your web developers or IT managers on an access audit. Ensure YOU know how to grant and restrict access to core proprietary data yourself. If you still have someone sending your emails for you and the accessing data concept is too daunting, then find an outside vendor who can be on call for such events.
Take control today and ensure you are not held hostage by a bad egg. If you cannot develop him into a positive force for the company, chances are he is doing more damage than you realize. Make a move today and start building toward a better tomorrow for you and your company’s good eggs.
Blog, Business Management