A recent MSN Poll asked the question: What’s the best thing about January? Here are the survey results:
o 33% – New year, fresh start
o 31% – None of these sounds good
o 19% – Being warm and cozy indoors
o 17% – Sports, including NFL playoffs (American football)
One-third of respondents said, “None of these sounds good.” Really – you can’t find anything good about January? What does this tell us? That there are people in this world who you do not want working for your organization, as they are not engageable. You know the ones – glass half empty, always complaining, always sick, always pulling up the rear or worse, trying to sink your ship.
From the research I’ve conducted, managers in most organizations allow people like this to stay because they don’t want to have a tough conversation with the employee about the areas where the person needs to improve. Or, the manager does not have the skillset to have the conversation and they are doing nothing to obtain it.
However, ignoring the situation is the worst thing you can do. Why? Because when you have a negative employee in your work environment, everyone around that individual knows it and is wondering, “Why aren’t leaders doing anything about this?” And in that moment, you are chipping away at the trust workers have in leadership, which causes them to disengage.
What Can I Do? Assess all members of your team. If someone among you is a Debbie Downer, act. Have a conversation with the employee and make them a part of the solution. Together, develop an action plan and document how you will measure success. If this does not solve the problem, know when to say goodbye and cut your losses. Your employees and shareholders will thank you.
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She is a 2017 Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.