Is there such a thing as a bad employee? People do bad things in the workplace, we’re only human. But with every bad choice we make, this is what helps us to grow and allows us to navigate ourselves out of heated situations. With negative experience, comes knowledge and knowledge is power. We know not to make the same mistakes again because we’ve learnt from them. Permitted that doesn’t always happen, some employees will unfortunately fall down the same rabbit hole.
The majority of us aspire to please someone, we knuckle down and try to produce results in the hope of praise, acknowledgement or even a promotion. But what happens when things don’t go according to plan? Who’s at fault? The employee or the management team? Whose been tarnished the ‘bad employee’?
Employees would say management and vice versa. It works both ways. People are always quick to point the blame and save their own skin.
We know bad managers exit and we know bad employees exit. You know the type, power mad managers who bark orders out to everyone who is lower down. But equally, there’s the bad employee, who bunks off, wastes time and really doesn’t care about what they put in. But like most actions, there’s a cause. By identifying the root of the problem could help you discover why your employee is behaving in such a way. If it’s coming from the top down, then it’s probably a management issue that’s caused them to behave like this in the first place.
Here are a few scenarios
The Problem: The employee constantly misses deadlines
Time management is key. It’s something we all have to be aware of not just in our careers but our personal lives too. However this can become incredibly frustrating for a manager and their team. If this becomes a habit, all of that employees work could be holding the team behind, which is far from productive.
We’ve all been there. Forgotten a deadline, prioritised something else or perhaps have seriously procrastinated that much that we no longer feel up the task. Instead of going 0 to 100 and blaming or punishing the employee, you might want to think about why they’ve missed the deadline.
Perhaps the employee isn’t confident with the workload, they’re unsure of what they’re doing and if they’re doing it right. Some people find it hard to communicate their feelings, especially if they’re struggling and will often go without saying anything until it’s too late. To prevent this kind of scenario, consider implementing checkpoints that lead up to deadline day. As a manager, it’s up to you to make sure your employee is feeling supported every step of the way and should make time to check in with them.
By being clear and concise. If you’re setting an employee a piece of work, assign them work in the same format. Either via email, video call, or face to face. Make sure your employee has all the tools and resources so they can get the work done.
The Problem: The employee doesn’t get on with anyone
They say you can’t pick your family and you can’t pick who you work with either. In an ideal world everybody would get on however this isn’t the case. Not everyone is going to get on or like the next person, it’s a part of life.
As a manager, you’ve probably spent years gathering like-minded individuals to create your team. That’s why carefully vetting candidates during your recruitment process is vital. A manager wants harmony amongst their team not animosity. When everyone’s on the same page, that’s when the best work is produced.
If there’s a fault in the team, then you’ll want to find the root of the problem. Without singling them out as a problem, you’ll want to know why this person is behaving in a disruptive way. Perhaps they’re an introvert and find it hard to socialise and work with others. Have an open and honest conversation where you can listen to your employee and find out what makes them tick. Together you can establish a working style that suits both parties.
The Problem: They’re always late
Nobody likes an employee that takes the p**s. It’s your job as a manager to pull them aside and ask them why they’re late. They could be struggling with childcare, relying on public transport. Two issues that are out of most people’s control.
But it comes down to this, ‘Find the best solution for you and your employee’. It might be your employee needs to start work slightly later or on different days. Once you’ve done your part and tried to accommodate their needs, it’s then in the employees hands.
The Problem: The work isn’t cutting the mustard
If your employee is a new starter, chances are it might take them a little while to settle into the role. They’ll need to learn about new processes and procedures so managers should expect that. It’s only when 6 months have gone by and your employee is still struggling and their work hasn’t improved.
Two possible reasons are this. You as a manager aren’t providing feedback or support or the employee isn’t taking it. You should give regular feedback sessions or appraisals, and give your employee the chance to tell you what they’re struggling with. But on the other side of the coin, your employee simply might not like criticism and will fall back into the old ways.
How Ampios Can Help
So with these three scenarios in mind, it comes down to this. Managers must take responsibility for their ‘bad’ employees and address any issues they have. It’s only then, you can categorise them as a ‘ bad employee’.
Here at Ampios, we have a team of dedicated specialists that can help point you in the right direction. We can work with your people and can help align the overall vision and strategy of your company. If you need to get in touch, we’d love to have a chat. Give us a call on T: +44 (0)333 987 4672 or send us a message via our contact form.