Ten company-sabotaging employees
The mistake eraser. These people could just as easily be called “the paragon of perfection,” because according to them, they never, ever make a mistake. Over time, they has learned every trick in the book to cover up her missteps. They might tell themself, Well, last time this happened I just shredded the document, or, I’ll just delete the customer’s email again. No one noticed before.
“It’s easy to see how this type of lack of accountability can hurt your organization’s bottom line,” noted Miller. “If their self-serving behavior doesn’t immediately alienate customers and coworkers, when the deceptions come to light (and they always do), people will feel that much angrier and betrayed.”
The blame deflector. At first glance, this employee might seem to be a clone of the mistake eraser. And yes, the two of them do have quite a bit in common. But when you get right down to it, their MOs are different. While the mistake eraser pretends that nothing bad happened to start with, the blame deflector is all too happy to admit that a ball was dropped…by somebody else. It’s always someone else’s fault!
“When the boss is wondering where an error originated, this person’s ‘deflector shields’ come up immediately,” said Bedford. “‘Well, I was only doing what I was told,’ they might say. Or, ‘I didn’t misquote the price to that customer. They must have misheard.’ If these types of excuses come out of the same employee’s mouth on a regular basis, don’t fall for them. Remember, a big part of accountability is owning up to your own mistakes.”
The truth avoider. These people “just can’t handle the truth!” When someone calls them out—for dropping the ball, for behaving badly, etc.—their reaction isn’t pretty. Maybe they bursts into tears, sulk for days, stomp off indignantly, or angrily deny all charges.
“If an employee is offended instead of accepting that the other person has made a valid observation, they just killed their accountability,” pointed out Miller. “Denying or just having a bad attitude about what’s obviously true will cause their credibility and trustworthiness to take a significant hit. Other employees as well as customers won’t want to work with her.”
The white liar. When these people doesn’t want to spend time giving feedback, they might say, “That PowerPoint looks fine to me,” even though they knows it’s on the bland side. Or when they know they won’t be able to meet a deadline, they email the client and claim to have been out of commission for a few days due to the flu. “Do you mind if I take a few extra days to complete the project?” they will ask. “I want to make sure that I deliver the best possible work to you.”