Reverse the entitlement attitude of problem staffers
Sherrie is a 25 year-old woman who works for a large mortgage banking firm. As a junior analyst, she receives a generous salary for her few years of experience along with a considerable benefits package. Soon after joining the firm, Sherrie began coming in late to the office at least a few times a week. When her supervisor confronted her about her repeated tardiness, she became defensive, stating that since she can’t control the traffic she should not be penalized for coming in “a few minutes late.” For the rest of the day, Sherrie pouted at her desk, was generally unfriendly and behaved like a victim of unfair criticism.
On another occasion, she was asked to stay an hour past her normal quitting time. She refused on the grounds that she was not given enough notice and that she’d already made other plans that were “unbreakable.” When her manager commented on her unwillingness to help out, Sherrie explained that she felt she should be paid more if she was expected to do the work of other employees. In spite of her mediocre job performance, Sherrie expected to receive a large bonus at the end of the year. When her supervisor explained that her bonus was based on job performance, and that Sherrie would not be receiving one, Sherrie claimed she was being treated unfairly Regardless of how she performed her duties, she believed she was entitled to a large bonus and special consideration for things like tardiness and absenteeism. She ultimately decided to quit her job without giving notice.
Sadly, Sherrie’s attitude of entitlement is not a rarity in the workforce of today, particularly amongst employees under the age of 30. Employers often find themselves playing the part of “cheerleader” with staff members like Sherrie. They fear negative reactions to criticism and tolerate mediocre job performances to avoid dealing with their employees’ poor attitudes. Employers can feel trapped when dealing with attitudes of entitlement amongst their staff members. They endure offensive demeanors to avoid the hassles of retraining new staff, wrongful termination lawsuits and defensive hostile reactions from would-be terminated employees.
Fortunately, reversing course with problem staffers is not as difficult as some employers may think. The following are 5 easy-to-master tips that can turn around negative attitudes and allow employers to assume their proper roles in the workplace:
1. Establish the relationship with each staff member from the very beginning. Employers should not concern themselves with being friends with their employees. In fact, doing so promotes a dysfunctional workplace where roles are ill defined. This leads to power struggles, resentment, and possibly stomach ulcers! Employers need make it clear that relationships with their staff members will, in no way, resemble peer relationships. The relationship between employer and employee works best when the relationship is kind but formal as opposed to friend-like and casual.
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