Employee Negativity Causes and Cures

Today’s organizations lose more than $3 billion annually due to the impact of negativity on performance and productivity in the workplace. The Costs of Doing Nothing Loss of productivity. Negative and disengaged employees only give 65 percent of their full effort on tasks and duties, although they are receiving 100 percent of their full salary. This means an organization is obtaining a negative return on investment in labor for all disengaged staff. Lets assume you are paying an employee $55k in annual salary, and since they are disengaged they are only providing $35,750 (.65 x $55k) worth of energy and effort toward tasks and duties. For only one disengaged employee, the organization is losing roughly $19k in productivity annually. Multiply this by additional disengaged employees and the losses can be staggering. Loss of time. The average manager and supervisor spends about 22 percent of their time managing people. It can take up to 100 percent more time when you have to manage disengaged employees who perform just enough to meet expectations and typically cause 50 percent of the team conflicts. Loss of talent. If other staff members don’t think you will effectively address negative employees, you will lose credibility and some staff will quit and leave, others will quit and stay! A recent study by Towers Perrin surveyed over 1,000 employees and 300 senior Human Resources executives to find the top causes for why employees become toxic: Cause #1: Overwhelming work When work starts to gradually be dumped on employees, some may begin to think they are being taking advantage of, or being punished for being a hard worker. The next step, they become bitter and resentful. Cause #2: Change in job duties Let’s be honest, when a new employee reviews a job description prior to the interview, many of them rarely remember the phrase “and other duties as assigned.” And that’s one of the main culprits of their protective phrase “that’s not my job!” When you sprinkle in “other-duties-as-assigned,” you’ve sparked a flame of fury. This flame becomes a fire when those “other duties” become permanent. Cures: Delegate, don’t dump. Obtain buy-in Know the difference between delegating and dumping work on your employees. Its delegating when you consider how the work can develop the or challenge the employee. Its dumping when you are just trying to get it off your plate as fast as possible. Ask for their input, involve them. Remember people tend not to destroy that which they help create. Get their buy-in! Cause #3: Insufficient recognition I remember one manager told me that “when employees receive their paycheck twice per month, that’s their praise and recognition. The don’t need any more from me.” I disagreed and told him if that’s the only recognition they receive they will only give you “paycheck performance.” Cure: Praise and recognize at least weekly Remember praise and recognition should be genuine, timely, specific and tailored to the person. Change up your routine. The typical “thank you” in an email or text has become diluted and blase’. Start looking for more creative ways to praise and recognize staff rather than when they go above and beyond. Who have you seen display your core values?  Who is always punctual? Who maintained a positive attitude during a moment when they could have been negative? If you start looking for more of what you want to see, you will see more of it! Empower your managers to neutralize negativity in 90 minute, half-day or full day training sessions.  You can select the date for on-site training You can choose the location for on-site training We...

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Top 50 Worst Things to Say in the Workplace

In our latest Tactful Communication Workplace Survey, we asked four hundred supervisors, managers, leaders and front line staff from various industries in six states and ten countries to share statements they made, or heard others communicate that were considered untactful and made others defensive. Here are the top 50 statements as a result of the survey: 1. “That’s not my job” 2. “Why can’t you do it” 3. “I’m here to work, I’m not here to make friends” 4. “I’m busy can you get all of this” 5. “I’m right, you’re not” 6. “You don’t know what you’re talking about” 7. “I’ve told you how this is done before” 8. “I don’t work for you” 9. “He’s not pulling his weight” 10. “I’m always the one doing the work” 11. “Just do your job” 12. “What have you been doing all day” 13. “He did it, not me” 14. “This is your fault” 15. “Do it or go home” 16. “I’m busy” 17. “You don’t pay me enough” 18. “No place could be lousier than this” 19. “Well, I just assumed… [insert anything here]” 20. “They should be happy to have a job” 21. ”I don’t have time to babysit you” 22. “Its your baby now” 23. “That’s not how we did it at my old job” 24. “Thats not how we do it around here” 25. “Don’t expect me to bail you out” 26. “There are several unemployed people waiting for your job” 27. “I’m not here to be nice to people” 28. “I’m not paid to think” 29. “Why do I get the all the dirty work” 30. “You do know I can get a college intern to do your job for free” 31. “Sorry…I can’t. That wasn’t in my job description” 32. “We don’t look for creativity in our employees” 33. “I am busy” 34. “I can only do this job” 35. “Your procrastination is not my emergency” 36. “No one listens to me” 37. “I didn’t sign up for this $#% !” 38. “You’re all alone on this one” 39. “What the customer doesn’t know won’t hurt them” 40. “She/he just got the job because they are (fill in the blank) with the boss” 41. “I don’t know” (with no follow up) 42. Hold that thought, I will get back to you” (NOT) 43. “Yes” to everything …. and then not delivering 44. “Why me?” 45. “I don’t work for you I work for the organization” 46. “We already tried that, and it doesn’t work” 47. “You’re wasting your time” 48. “Don’t worry. I will take care of it” (fail to follow through) 49. “I don’t have time to talk to you” 50. “Told you so” What statement would you add to this list? Tell us in a comment below. Learn how on-site training can help your team develop tactful communication...

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Worst Performing Leaders: 5 Qualities that Define Them

In 2015, we analyzed 360 leadership feedback data on 1,000 managers supervisors, and senior level leaders, as well as the most popular leadership training and executive coaching requests and discovered patterns and themes in the “worst performing” and “least effective” managers and leaders.   The Worst Performing Managers, Supervisors, and Executives: Inability to communicate clear vision and direction When employees ask them “why  they are performing a certain task,”  they respond by saying, “you worry about it doing your job, and let me worry about why you’re doing it.” They focus on daily, monthly, quarterly goals, and fail to creatively connect those activities to long-term strategic priorities so employees can understand the big picture. The majority of their staff cannot explain the organization’s strategic vision, which explains their tendencies to make decisions with a silo mindset. Fail to develop others They can rarely miss work without being repeatedly called or emailed to answer questions or resolve issues. Due to their job insecurity, they rarely share organizational/job knowledge with those they perceive as threats and the potential to outshine them. They assign busy, tedious work and when employees complain, they say “well don’t ask for development opportunities if you can’t handle the workload.” Closed minded They say they have an open door policy, while simultaneously having a close minded policy by resisting staff suggestions for improvements and innovative ideas. The long-term impacts of this behavior is low employee survey response rates, minimal participation in meetings, and the development of “paycheck only mentalities.” Lack energy and enthusiasm They have a go-through-the-motions mindset. They skip training opportunities, announce changes in processes or procedures with a disloyal and sarcastic tone , and rarely deliver employee praise and recognition of performance. Instead, they say “they should be glad to have a job.” Inability to adapt to various personality styles It’s their way or the highway! They expect and demand employees adapt to their leadership style. They manage and treat all employees the same way, from high performers to low performers. They perceive others with different communication styles as “problem players.” When asked too many questions, (especially by new employees) they perceive them as challenging their authority. Learn how on-site training can equip your managers to be high-performing authentic...

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Employees with Paycheck Mentalities?

“If your employees do not connect to a purpose, they will connect to a paycheck.” – James Bird Guess Are you a leader attempting to communicate purpose to your people? Think of a puzzle inside a box. A puzzle is made up of many pieces. The picture of what the puzzle is supposed to look like once it’s completed is shown on the outside of the box. This “big picture” is like the vision for your organization, and the puzzle pieces represent the many tasks, goals, and responsibilities required to achieve the vision or big picture. Just imagine if you gave a team of people different amounts of puzzle pieces and told them to put the puzzle together by a deadline, and yet you never showed them the big picture on the box. They would still probably be able to complete the puzzle, but they would be able to do it much faster and with less frustration if they knew the purpose, the vision, the big picture of what it’s supposed to look like after all the hard work. Your job as an authentic leader is to keep showing them, keep reminding them in your own unique way, what the vision and big picture will look like once completed. From our experience, after having conducted on-site training for managers and supervisors in companies across the U.S. about 50 percent of an organization’s employees have “paycheck mentalities.” These employees are actually withholding anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of effort and energy, which means if their salary is roughly $50,000 annually, they are only contributing $37,500 worth of effort. Listed below are signs to look for: Neither fully committed nor uncommitted to daily work, direct manager, team and the organization. Perform just enough to get by and often go through the motions with tasks and duties. Does not see any connection between personal and professional goals with job duties and typically meets basic expectations. While that statistic may sound alarming, it is really an opportunity to for an organization’s leaders to reconnect with these employees before they become fully disengaged and problem employees. The most critical element on whether or not they become engaged or disengaged is the environment their direct manager or supervisor creates. Learn how on-site training equips managers to avoid creating “paycheck mentalities.” Click here to request article reprint...

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How different countries deliver criticism and feedback

How you deliver praise and criticism in one country doesn”t necessarily work in another. Below is an interesting look at how countries differ across the world when delivering feedback....

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