If you don’t deal with a problem employee swiftly and firmly, you run the risk that a few rotting leaves will ruin the whole salad. Let me explain.
Bagged salad from the grocery store is simple and convenient, so I often purchase it as an easy way to add more greens to our meals. But every so often, despite the “Best before” date, I see a few leaves beginning to brown through the cellophane wrap. When I notice some of the edges browning, I have learned that it is wise to open the bag, remove the offending pieces, and store the remaining greens in an airtight container for the next couple of days. Experience has taught me that if I leave the bag unopened, the few darkening bits turn the entire contents into one big slimy mess, and then nothing is salvageable.
If you don’t deal with your problem employee …
This everyday situation offers a lesson in how important it is for leaders to manage, without delay, the problem employee on their team. If you observe any of your employees exhibiting poor performance or inappropriate workplace behaviour, it’s essential that you deal with them promptly and firmly. Because if you leave these individuals unchecked, they will most certainly spread discord and negativity throughout your team simply by being present. Even worse, your lack of decisive action with a problem employee will actually be demoralizing for the rest of your team. The few rotting leaves will quickly turn the entire bag into a horrid place to work.
So, if you have an employee who misses deadlines, creates bottlenecks, or uses poor judgement, then take action. If a team member is rumour-mongering or causing personality conflicts with others, then address the behaviour. If one of your staff is repeatedly expressing contempt for work, customers, management or the organization, then step up and deal with the issue. Because if you don’t, the morale and productivity on the entire team will suffer.
Have you observed situations like this in your workplace? Are you taking firm purposeful action to deal with your problem employee? What is stopping you from making sure that you are removing the bad leaves? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.
This isn’t the first time I’ve addressed the importance of dealing with problem employees swiftly and firmly.
- Deal with performance problems sooner rather than later (the Broken Window theory)
- An (even more) important reason to take action with your problem employees