“Good Employees” is at the top of any business owner’s Wish List. But, wishin’ don’t make it so. It takes time, effort, knowledge and skill to create and manage an effective workforce. Here are some tips on the types of people you do not want working for your company and how to manage them.
See “A Productive Workforce is Made Not Born – Part 1” for the types of people you do want working for you and how to manage them.
We all know and have worked with Prima Donnas. They are the people who have exaggerated ideas regarding their talent, importance and contributions to the company. They will throw tantrums and objects. They are very vocal and arrogant in their unhappiness about “not being treated right”. But, when you look closely at Prima Donnas they do very little actual work.
What to do: A Prima Donna has only one or two things he brings to the business (i.e. skill set, customer, ownership, seniority, community connection). But, when looked at objectively, what he brings is overrated, and not worth the problems he creates. Do not buy into his belief that he is irreplaceable, it is not true. He should be held accountable for all his duties and responsibilities.
Their behaviors and attitudes are bad, and their productivity is worse. They are “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile” employees. Dead Woods are not hard to identify. By the time they are in this category everybody knows who they are and how much harm they are doing to your business.
What to do: First, figure out if you can you turn a Dead Wood into an Easy Goer (see Part 1). You will be able to bring some around by consistently applying a system of consequences and incentives. If not, then the employee should be fired, no excuses. Remember, you get the workforce you are willing to tolerate.
A Prima Donna alienates others. A Dead Wood lacks credibility when he tries to stir things up. But, look out for the Zombie Leader – he wants power and is able to manipulate people to get it. He gets hold of people’s brains, makes followers and creates problems. Over time, he and his army will attack management, Stars, Good Potentials and Easy Goers (see Part 1).
What to do: Zombie Leaders can be decent performers and are liked by employees and managers. They are confusing – contributing to and sabotaging the business at the same time. They are also difficult to manage, and will not give up their desire for power. You can manage them with very tight controls, but make sure they are worth the effort. They normally are not.
It is difficult to create a productive workforce, but look at the alternative. Life is too short to work with dishonest, angry, under-performing, power hungry employees, especially when you do not have to. Take Casey Stengel’s advice, “The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.”
At Cogent Analytics, we never stop looking for ways to improve your business and neither should you. So, check out some of our other posts for helpful business information: