Have you noticed how many businesses seem to have a ‘problem child’ among their staff? Often this toxicity in the office has built up very gradually until one day you find your very own monster is taking up more and more of your time and creating frustration for the rest of the team.
We’ve noticed three factors contribute to creating the monster:
You wouldn’t have hired this person if you knew they would turn out like this, would you?
So what could you have done differently to ensure you knew more about them, and how they’d fit in, before you made that decision? What was missing in your recruitment process?
What will you do next time?
Whenever you hire, it’s because you need someone to do the work. Once they’re on board, it’s easy to believe that given they met your selection criteria they should be able to just get on with the job, right?
Wrong! If you haven’t told them clearly and consistently what you expect in terms of work performance and behaviour, how can you expect them to know?
Even experienced employees have come from a different environment with different unwritten rules. It’s harder still for younger staff to discern what the rules are in your workplace.
This would have to be the most common reason we see for monsters at work and many managers delay addressing bad behaviour until damage has already been done. It’s understandable that in the daily pressure of getting things done you find it easier to ignore the problem.
If you wait until other staff complain, it may already be too late. If you don’t take immediate action when an issue is brought to your attention you risk doing more long-term damage.
By hiring well and setting standards you may avoid having to do so.
If a monster does emerge, our advice is don’t ever wait until you’re in a crisis to talk to them about their poor conduct. The pressure could lead to you both behaving in ways you’ll regret later.
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