Employee Engagement and, for that matter, Organizational Culture are inextricably linked to a team that shares similar values, purpose, and direction. Sometimes, however, there are team members that are just not a fit.
Those non-fit team members can have the most brilliant resumés and come from an impeccable background with education from the very best B-Schools. Yet they cause trouble and create chaos and disharmony with everyone they touch. They are not necessarily bad people they are just a bad fit in the organization.
As a leader, you have three choices:
Most often, I recommend choice number one from above. A cancer is a cancer and often needs to be surgically removed before it controls and eventually causes the demise of the organization.
If you are hoping their bad behaviour is just some kind of a ‘phase,’ I have some prime land near Chernobyl to sell you!
Sometimes though (and I will admit it is rare), you can save the employee through some very disciplined leadership moves. Sometimes there are really good reasons why the employee has been acting like a screaming two-year-old that wants ice-cream. It may be that they have never been shown ‘what good looks like’. They may never have been shown how they contribute to the success of the business. It may be because their crappy behavior was never challenged. Bottom line is that they actually think that what they are doing the right thing!
Case in point… I once led a large Call-Center business in Canada. There were over 1,500 team members. One of the poorest performing campuses had 400 team members. And… one person was the orchestra conductor of some very bad music – creating fear and intimidation every time he walked onto the floor. On day one of my tenure there, he told me that I wouldn’t last. I love a challenge!
How did I deal with him? I engaged the team around him. Shared openly and honestly the state of the business (it wasn’t good). I talked about the key role we played in customer’s lives, the big picture of where we were going, the plan and what each individual’s role in turning the business around was going to be. The disruptor tried his best to control the energy and momentum that started. Eventually, he saw that people no longer feared him and he lost his entire power base. And, like most bullies on the playground that lose their power, he shriveled into the background and actually became a solid performer (mostly because he wanted the attention that all the top performers around him were getting).
Quite simply put, the way to break bad habits (if that is the choice you as the leader make) is 4 simple steps that I call the 4Ps…
Or, you can break bad habits by swiftly and surgically removing the cancer. Whichever method you use, the 4 P’s needs to be put in place for the rest of team.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
The audio version of Bob’s #1 best seller It’s Already Inside is now available on Audible.Bad Habits, Employee Engagement, It's Already Inside, Leader, Leadership, Robert Murray, Robert S. Murray, Success, Team