What are the qualities of destructive employees and what you must do about it? Inc.com recently listed some of the qualities of a destructive employee who, while they may not have done something that can cause them to get fired, can still be a living nightmare for a manager and other employees.
Is This Person Familiar?
An employee that is normally unwilling to perform tasks outside his or her job description, especially if it is considered beneath them. This can be a particular problem in a small company where people have to take on other tasks as the situation warrants.
They excuse the fact that they don’t work very hard by claiming that they have “paid their dues.” They also claim to have a lot of experience, as if longevity means competence. Others like to gossip, something that undermines the company’s cohesion but is also a waste of time better spent being productive.
Some employees like to cover up the fact that they are poor performers by trying to inhibit others from performing exceptionally. They will employee peer pressure tactics to keep other employees from “working too hard.” But when things do get accomplished, they’ll try to grab all the glory. And, if someone needs to take the fall for a problem, they are quick to throw them under the bus, especially if it means deflecting blame from themselves.
First you can try put them on a performance improvement plan. When that doesn't work (and it won't) you should let them go. What can be done if they can’t be fired? According to Psychology for Business, one has to find ways to limit their destructiveness. Stick to the facts when dealing with them. Never take them into your confidence. Do not promote them and, if possible, restrict their access to other managers. Never show anger when they exhibit destructive tendencies, especially when it is directed at you. That just gives them ammunition. In short you have to marginlize them as much as possible in order to protect your team.
The main way to deal with a destructive employee, however, is to try to make sure they don’t get hired in the first place...believe me I know from experience.
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