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Friday, 5 August 2016

How to Deal with a Negative Employee

Kit, the pitcher in A League of Their Own, is negative throughout most of the movie.  Manufacturing sympathy for her is tough.  She is a whiner.  She brings down those around her.  She is frustrated with the sister who has been kind to her and given her support in her life.  She is obnoxious to her teammates.  She is negative about her life and wants to bring others down around her.

How many of these people work with or for us?  And while you might want to fight this person, just as happens in one scene of the movie, work policy is likely to prohibit you from doing so. 

Confrontation is appropriate.  You do not need to allow this person to monopolize your time or to jeopardize the flow of the rest of the team due to such negativity.  It is not okay.

Make the business case first.  Log the hours given in support of this negative person, to try to move him/her beyond the perceived issues.  Log the hours given in support of correction in team communication often displayed in frustration.  Log the hours given in conversation with other team members who struggle to work with that negative person.  Those hours have a cost, with very little ROI.

In restaurant jobs nyc, the typical pattern for a manager is to have all of these conversations, but the functional team dynamic remains the same.  The cycle of engagement is not impacted and the status quo returns a day after addressing the issue.  Management does little usually to course-correct the department.  The symptom gets address – frustration, lack of communication, hurt feelings – but the cause – the negativity of a person – is left because we don’t know what to do.

In all of the hours spent by the manager in dealing with the situations caused by the negativity, rest assured it’s about the same for the team members involved.  They are not on task because of having to address the related issues of the negativity.  It should be very easy to show the negative employee that the team is not here to deal with these issues; it’s not part of their job description.  The cost of lost productivity is real and can be shared as an amount based upon time, hourly rate, cost of goods, and other operational & production costs.

It, also, distracts the staff from representing the brand, the cuisine, the service imperative and other details of the organization to the customer.  That’s money for today and future monies in jeopardy.
Treating the negative person with the respect of truth and fact is the most respectful way to engage.  It will allow the conversation to move away from feeling, which is the default position, and rest purely on fact.  Management must engage on a level that moves the negative person out of his/her own perspective and into one that includes the company’s purpose.  Often, the negative individual sees his/her role as unappreciated at the company, especially for hospitality jobs nyc.  By sharing factual information, the negative person is offered a different (and more correct) view of how the company sees him/her.  When confronted with such information, management can be deliberate about the path of engagement moving forward.

Management will need to follow through on this.  If we’re serious that the waste of time is enough, then we must act upon that.  No more resources of time, team members and operational productivity will be wasted on such negativity.  Everything isn’t terrible, everything isn’t against you and everything isn’t about you.  

Clearly act on this.

And while management may feel that the negative person is too tough to handle, a better view is to think about the team members that aren’t receiving such attention despite the great work being done.  The squeaky wheel getting the grease isn’t a long-term strategy for success.  Affirm the right behaviors more than the wrong; look at the time you’re spending on the wrong and make corrections.
Keep in mind, too, that this negative person can follow the path that Kit did.  She got traded.  Don’t wait too long to trade your Kit.

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