I am pretty sure almost anyone in any sized business has worked with, worked under or employed someone who is amazing at what they do, but are shall we say, “difficult” to manage.
They have talent. They have drive. They have excellent skills and get great results; the only problem is you spend too much time involved in a peace keeping mission as you attempt to manage them and counsel the other employees around them. You justify this wasted time with excuses like “but they know my business back to front” or “they are the most dedicated worker I have” or perhaps even “they’re our best sales person”.
Businesses who indulge difficult employees will always find when they look honestly, a toxic culture bubbling below the surface. A manager’s excuses to effectively deal with such issues, are generally based on fear.
- Fear of confrontation, conflict, uncomfortable environment.
- Fear that the employee will quit.
- Fear that the employee won’t perform to the expected standard, and need further attention (uncomfortable!).
- Fear that YOU won’t be liked, or will be seen as the ‘bad boss’.
- And the big one, fear that the business will suffer without that employee, and they can’t be replaced.
Here’s the reality check. Your business is already suffering, and so is your brand credibility.
Brand bashing employee types to be aware of:
The Solo ‘Gun’ Sales Person – they regularly hit target and beyond but won’t join in with the team. They exude confidence, but are highly vocal about everything and anything negative. They present themselves as the leader of the sales pack, but have no desire to move up the chain or to manage others, and have little time or patience for new or junior employees. Their key objective is to earn MONEY. You often find yourself making excuses for their bad behavior – “yes but, they always make the most sales“.
BRAND DAMAGE: Reality Check! These employees rarely care about your business success, goals or whether you will still be able to open the doors in 3 years time. They feed this negativity into the rest of the team, and your actions have put them on a pedestal! Junior employees look up to them – is this really the example you want to set?
Imagine a great sales person, maybe one who achieves 80% of what your ‘gun’ employee does. One who mentors and trains your other staff to perform better; shares ideas and sales opportunities with the team for collaborative success, instilling confidence and brand loyalty into everyone around them. What heights could you take your business to now? Positive actions = positive results.
The Big Personality – Loud, funny, focused and engaging…. a born leader. Or, are they actually bossy, stubborn and opinionated? Big personalities can be terrific if you can harness them for good and ensure they remain loyal. They get the job done, influence others, and drive you forward. Danger occurs when they are lured to the dark side and their “I can talk to anyone” gift is used for evil. Heaven forbid if you have two going head-to-head… get out of the way before the carnage hits.
BRAND DAMAGE: It is not unusual to want to avoid confrontation; however the longer you let a toxic “big personality” rule the roost, the more likely you will be to lose your more conservative employees, and find your younger, greener ones poorly influenced. This downtime trying to replace, retrain and skill new people can reduce efficiency and highlight inexperience to your customers. Be fair and powerful in your communications and expectations, choose big personalities that openly exhibit kindness and honesty. Remember, a good balance of personality types and gender in the workplace is always a plus.
The Long-Term ‘Devoted’ Employee – They arrive before everyone else, and are last to leave. They power through more work than an industrial digger treating your business with the same devotion as you do.
Or do they? What would your other employees say?
“God forbid if you touch their stapler, and if it’s not done their way, look out”
“If you dare suggest they have missed a minor detail, it’s World War 3”.
“They wont work within a team, train or help others”
BRAND DAMAGE: Is ruling your business with fear really devotion to you? How can your other employees become passionate and excited about your business brand when you allow them to be subjected to a dictator? These seemingly ‘devoted’ employees are not in love with your brand, they are dependent on the security of it and need to feel in complete control to validate their own importance. Closed and rigid behavior prevents your other employees from thinking creatively, and your business from evolving at its full potential. Yes it’s great to appreciate their commitment, but stop feeling obligated to them.
Remember, building a trusted and popular brand reputation takes time. Don’t let a few ‘difficult’ circumstances damage your hard work.
Thanks for ready this post by Tough Cookie Marketing – www.toughcookiemarketing.com
For more marketing tips for hospitality and service businesses, follow us on Facebook.