How substandard workers can harm your company

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Employees who are truly great are tough to acquire and equally difficult to hold onto. The rest of your business will need to be staffed with less than perfect individuals – that’s just the way life works.


Be aware, though, that some of these employees can cause untold harm to your organization if you aren’t careful.

Even if an old friend says that you owe it to them to bring a third peer into your company, you shouldn’t risk the life of your company if they display certain toxic traits.

Many businesses have installed audit trail software after getting burned by former workers who did considerable damage to data in their private intranet after being ‘wronged’ in some way by a manager.

Don’t want this to happen to you? In this article, we’ll discuss various behaviors of substandard workers so you can confront them and if need be, remove them from your organization.

1) They can leak company info to malicious actors

One of the more sinister aspects of having thin-skinned workers in your company is that you never know how they might react to negative feedback.

Frequently they will respond with petty acts of passive aggression, designed to drag down their target into an unproductive war of attrition.

When they feel like they have been deeply disrespected, though, they might be capable of acts that can seriously harm your business.

After being embarrassed, disciplined, suspended, or even fired (never let anyone dismissed out of sight until they leave the building), they could be pushed to take sensitive information and give it to an actor who could end up destroying the business.

As soon as it apparent you have a petty, vindictive person on the payroll, take steps to remove them and then have them escorted off the property.

2) They hold back ‘A’ talent

A substandard employee fears the hiring of talent, as they see themselves being replaced by them instead of the talent being a partner with whom they can take the business to the next level.

Because of this perception, they’ll do everything they can to thwart the efforts of achievers to maintain their primacy.

If you have talent complaining about these retardants to growth, investigate. If they don’t change their tune and start working in good faith with all employees on your payroll, terminate them.

3) Their negative attitude is infectious

Substandard employees spread a strain of pessimism that can sink workplace morale. They’ll defend themselves by claiming they are just being realistic, but this view of the world will not get your company to where it needs to be.

Of course, it is important to be pragmatic, but this stoic philosophy is worlds away from being pessimistic.

Communicate the difference between them to any ‘Debbie Downers’ in your office – if they clean up their act or keep their views to themselves, they can stay, but if they remain steadfast in their fear of failure, they should be cast aside.

4) They can dirty your company’s reputation through their actions

Cultivating and maintaining a professional attitude at work is vital to cementing a great relationship between your company and clients/customers.

Substandard employees may feel the need to go off-script to put a customer ‘in their place’ or to push back against a client who hurt their feelings.

While it may feel good to them in the moment, it can have grave long-term consequences for your brand.

Check carefully for problem traits when hiring, discipline quickly for improper actions, and fire promptly if they don’t correct course.


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