I have seen many a company slugging it out, the owner and staff stressed, and overall not doing too well.
One of the main reasons behind such circumstances is some staff are truly part of the team, and some are not.
Those that are, are easy enough to identify; they work hard, they go beyond their level of duty, they participate, they help others, they are upbeat, they follow the goals and policy set by the founders of the firm, and in general are pleasant to be around. You can count on them to produce and they do!
We have traced slows and failures down to a few people; they actually cause the failure, stress and overwork, and EVERY TIME, once that person/those people are removed from the group, it factually flourishes! The remaining staff suddenly like being there, the owner enjoys coming to work, production lines “magically” seem to function better and production rolls right on out.
Why? Unfortunately, (though a very, very small percentage), people exist who actively confuse others, like to cause upsets, who thrive when things are not going well, are loaded with disagreements about “it all”. The attention it takes to handle this type of staff is not worth the time and effort. You are running a business for the good of all concerned, so why have someone around who is moving things in the opposite direction?
The problem is usually that it’s hard to face the fact that there are ill-intentioned people. Things do not “just happen”, they are caused/created. One of the traits of the ill-willed is “things just happen”, no real cause that they have anything to do with it and usually they habitually blame others for their “misfortunes”.
I have often heard this: “She has been here so long”, or worse, “he is a family member”. There you are dreading having to deal with this person while your staff report consistent upsets and botched job performance. Even worse, losing you’re good staff because of this person blaming or targeting them.
In an ideal world, this type of staff wouldn’t exist. Those that cause trouble would not be allowed to be part of any real team. They would be seen and removed quickly.
The other side of this coin; Make positive you have located the right person as the correct target for the lowered production. The really ill-willed will suggest and point out the wrong targets, knowingly, and you could end up removing the wrong person.
Things are caused, as it is individuals that cause them. There is not some “other authority” running the show. Those there are running the show or not.
How do you tell what’s really up? A few tips: the highly-critical, the “nicely critical” (the worse kind), the non-producer with the big welfare ideas that they must be paid no matter what they produce, the one that seems to upset others consistently, and one that will not change no matter what you try, the one that is sweet to your face, but cutting you to shreds behind your back to others.
I’ve experienced one I will never forget! I had a practice owner tell me over and over again about a staff in this “category”, but this owner did not have the guts to handle her so her business just “kept having problems” week after week, and month after month.
This went on and on. I had her read some technical information about this; she completely agreed and stated she knew that staff had to go! I had told her for some time that one day this would blow up without any doubt. But she just couldn’t face this staff, until the shoe dropped… While eating at a nearby restaurant with a glass partition between her and the next booth she overheard the guest in the next booth cutting her to shreds! She couldn’t believe what was being said about her behind her back! She got up, went around to the table; guess who was sitting there doing all the verbal slaying? Yes, this same “staff member”.
She fired her on the spot. Her company went on a boom! It just took her far too long, too many upsets, time and production wasted to get this handled.
A word of caution; the idea is not some environment where all staff are “sweet and nice”; you want a productive environment as the paramount target. You and those around you will blow a gasket once in a while, or upset someone, but this is an “acute” circumstance. I am talking here about the chronic offenders.
Don’t go shooting until you have fully verified data. Try your best to handle it and see if you can get a change. If not, DO NOT hesitate. The other end of this is a bright better future, building a strong, well-trained, fun, and highly productive team.