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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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 Leaders Grow People

As leaders, we are like farmers and our employees are like seeds. Seeds have everything they need inside of them to grow and achieve their greatest potential, if they are in an environment that is conducive to their growth. As leaders, we are responsible for cultivating that environment. You can take any seed of your choice, an apple seed, or a pumpkin seed and those seeds will lay dormant for months or even years, until they feel the environment is just right for their growth. If a seed is not exposed to sufficient moisture, proper temperature, oxygen, and for many seeds light, the seed will not start the growth process. Employees are just like seeds. If they are not exposed to a fertile foundation of trust, sufficient amounts of respect and recognition shinning down on them, as well as proper water or flow of open communication, the employee will remain uninspired to excel, grow and break out of his or her comfort zone. And like a dormant seed, the employee may be idle and develop a paycheck mentality and start doing just These extra charges the cost of credit card rates consist of any amount that exceeds the amount borrowed (the principal). enough to get by. Build a Foundation of Trust: • Do what you say (common sense, not common practice • Admit mistakes • Be consistent (trust takes time) • Trust others first (make yourself vulnerable) Let Open Communication Flow: • Encourage feedback • Ask for input and involve others • Be open minded and listen Respect: Let it Shine! • Be helpful not hurtful when delivering feedback • Focus on facts not your feelings when communicating • Praise and recognize at least weekly (be genuine) Learn how we can help your organization”s managers and leaders grow people. Click here to request article reprint...

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Reducing Staff Turnover Case Study: Casino Company

The Organization A tribal casino and resort organization with over 300 employees specializes in providing remarkable casino gaming and entertainment experiences for players and resort guests. The income generated from the casino and resort activities is used to fund a wide variety of social services for members of the tribe. The Challenge • The casino was extremely effective in attracting resort guests and gaming players, but struggled in their ability to retain them. • With a turnover rate of roughly 40%, it was becoming increasingly costly to not address this issue, due to the real costs of recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new employees, all of which were direct impacts on employee productivity, customer service, and profitability. (See our free turnover calculator) The Solution We immediately focused on diagnosing the reason why significant amounts of staff members were voluntarily leaving within a twelve month period. Using a combination of exit interviews and our signature anonymous employee engagement survey, we quickly discovered that ineffective mid-level managers were creating undesirable work environments and driving the turnover rate. Over 95% of the casino managers had at least five years of management experience, but had never received any formal leadership training. They were deficient in knowing how to motivate employees without money, instead they used their authority, threats and intimidation. When giving employees feedback they communicated using condescending tones of voice and body language, making the staff feel undervalued and underappreciated. We strongly discouraged the senior-level leaders to not invest in a company wide customer service training (their initial plan) until their mid-level managers were trained and equipped to be effective leaders. Our rationale was that once employees felt good about coming to work, valued, appreciated, and motivated to perform, only then would they act, behave, and communicate in ways that would positively impact guests and players. Until then, they would continue to have “paycheck mentalities,” and would voluntarily quit once they found more favorable employment. The casino decided to implement training for not only mid-level managers but also senior-level leaders as well, to send a message of the importance of the training. After six months, an engagement survey showed a 50% improvement in employee attitudes toward managers. However, many employees were still skeptical and were not sure if the behavior of managers would be sustainable. After only twelve months, turnover was reduced to 32% which resulted in more than $250,000 in savings related to costs of turnover, and more than maximizing the return on their training and consulting investment. We informed the casino’s senior-level leaders that employee engagement and effective leadership was not a single event, but a process which must be cultivated and maintained over time. Learn how we can help your organization reduce turnover and retain top talent. Click here to request article reprint...

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Should managers and leaders focus on being feared, liked or respected?

Should I be Feared Many managers focus on using fear or intimidation as their overall leadership style.  And yes, they do get results. Employees will perform the required jobs, tasks and duties assigned, however they will not give their best performance, take ownership, be innovative or take initiative. Instead they will do just enough not to get fired. Although there are times when managers and leaders do have to be direct and firm in their communication, they must be careful not to overuse that leadership style, since employees do not want to work under a dictator style of leadership for an extended period of time. Some employees will quit and leave, others will quit and stay and start going through the motions at work simply to collect the paycheck. Should I be Liked Sometimes new and recently promoted managers think that if they can just get their employees to like them, they will perform better for them. This type of thinking is dangerous. If you’re focused on being liked, then your decisions and actions as a manager will become blurred since they will be based on if your employees will like you. Remember, you do not have to be best friends or buddy-buddy with your employees. They may like you on Monday for something you’ve done, and then can’t stand you on Friday for something else you’ve done. Being liked will change and fluctuate like the weather. Your employees do not necessarily have to like you in order to perform for you. If your employees happen to like you, that’s just icing on the cake. Should I be Respected Respect is something that you’re always in the process of earning from your employees. How do you earn it? Do what you say you’re going to do and be consistent. Also, admit mistakes and take full responsibility. A manger of a logistics company calls a team meeting every time he makes a significant mistake. In the meeting, he informs his team about the mistake, admits it without excuses, discusses the impacts to the team, and what he will do differently next time. Why does he do this? To reinforce the desired behavior of accountability in their minds. Employees respect leaders who are honest, have integrity and have their back. Protect your employees from other department heads and senior-level leaders. If they make mistakes, do not leave them by themselves to face the music. When your employees respect you, they will perform for you even if they disagree with you, or don’t really like you. If you work for the mafia, its better to be feared. If you work with kids at Disney World, its better to be liked. But if you’re manager or leader in today’s workplace, its more effective to be respected. Grind for...

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