Ten company-sabotaging employees
The thunder stealer. Chances are, you know exactly who this person (or people) is in your organization. Odds are also good that he/she isn’t popular. After all, nobody is fond of a coworker or leader who steals others’ ideas and presents them as their own! Sure, they might say, “Brilliant idea—great job!” to your face, but the next thing you know, they have incorporated that “brilliant idea” into their presentation to the board and claimed all the credit.
“This one really drives me crazy,” said Bedford. “It’s a clear accountability breach because the person in question is breaking the trust of her colleagues and representing herself dishonestly. If you don’t nip these behaviors in the bud, you’ll lose a lot of great employees who are sick and tired of working with their thunder-stealing colleagues, and you’ll damage your bottom line in the process. Employee turnover is a huge hidden cost of doing business.”
The “indispensable” tyrant. We’ve all had this boss, too. He/she is the person on whom the CEO relies to get the sales the company needs to meet its goals each quarter. Trouble is, this person treats everyone like dirt in the process. Screams, yells, insults, even threatens—no tyrannical tactic is out of bounds. The CEO may know (or at least suspect) that this leader is overly harsh, but lets their bad behavior slide because of the mistaken belief that the person is “indispensable.”
“In this instance, the tyrannical leader is showing a lack of accountability to subordinates and to the employer,” explained Miller. “Whether it’s codified in company policy or not, leaders should develop, challenge and motivate their teams in a way that doesn’t tank their morale. When tyrannical behaviors are allowed to continue, disillusioned employees eventually take their talents elsewhere, costing their former employers a fortune to attract and train a successor.”
The chronic latecomer. These are the people who screw up meetings, upset customers and suppliers, and give your company a bad name because they’re consistently tardy. You don’t necessarily see the financial impact immediately, but it’s all too apparent after your clients call you unreliable and go elsewhere.
“Sure, there are legitimate reasons why even the most responsible person might be running late: a fender bender, a sick child, an unfortunate coffee spill, to name just a few,” conceded Bedford. “And yes, everybody gets a pass on this one from time to time when life’s curveballs happen. But if it happens again and again with the same person, you’ve got a problem. In effect, this employee is saying, ‘I don’t value my employer’s time,’ or, ‘It’s not important to me to honor the agreement we made.’ And that’s not what accountability looks like.”
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