Leaders and managers must create productive teamwork. However, some employees love to argue, criticize, give put-downs, and encourage discord and disruptions. They have poison tongues, and they aim to poison your work team, department, and company. Don’t let them.
Tip # 1: Complainers Are Adults Throwing Temper Tantrums
Employees who love to complain, blame and moan are throwing the adult version of a child’s temper tantrum. They know enough not to cry and scream at work, so they pick on people and bad-mouth the company in a pseudo-intelligent manner. Beware: They will throw your work team into disarray if you let them spew their negativity.
Tip # 2: Uncover Your Organization’s Culture
In Dr. Mercer’s book, Absolutely Fabulous Organizational Change, he created a definition of organizational culture; Organizational culture is how every employee knows he or she must act even when no one is watching.
If a manager or leader has employees who snap at each other it reflects the corporate culture fostered by management. Manager and leaders are role models and need to remember to act like it.
Tip # 3: Pre-Employment Tests Help Managers Hire the Best
Pre-employment tests make it easy to hire applicants who have the personality and intelligence to work productively and collaboratively. Research shows companies staffed with peaceful & productive employees hire applicants who get high test scores on four measures of the pre-employment test; Teamwork, Friendliness, Optimism, Helping People Motivation.
This is not rocket science. Hire winners, and you get a winning work team. Hire unfriendly, pessimistic people who love discord and arguing, and you get a jerk breeding ground.
TIP # 4: Key to Changing Employees with “Personality Problems”
Managers and leaders need to remember one principle to transform jerks: People will not change their personality to get along with others. But, they will change their behavior or actions. Your goal as a manager is to focus on changing the jerk’s actions and not on changing the troublemaker’s personality.
Try to focus on the positive aspects of the problem employee do not dwell on their negative behavior, instead make a list of how the employee moves your organization forward.
TIP # 5: Teambuilding In Non-Threatening Way
Managers have me conduct Teambuilding Sessions in their departments and companies. Teambuilding Sessions enable a work team to overcome interpersonal and other problems so the team can vastly increase productivity.
One teambuilding method suggested by Dr. Mercer entails sitting the team around a table. Then, each team member gives two comments to each other team member, while everyone else listens.
1.What I like about working with you is [action.] 2.I could work better with you if you did [action.]
Mercer advises to only use specific actions or behaviors, while he does not allow comments on personality traits. Remember, People can change their behavior but they will not change their personality.
TIP # 6: Peer Pressure
Joint goal achievement provides a powerful way to get work done while forcing people to collaborate and increase productivity. Assign a team of employees an important work goal, including measurable result to achieve by a deadline. Tell them their reward for accomplishing the goal, as well as the dire consequences for failing.
Peer pressure with a noose dangling over their heads will increase collaboration faster than pleasant counseling or coaching will. Also, getting a reward for successful goal achievement reinforces harmony and productivity.
TIP # 7: “Public Execution” of a Jerk
Here, “public execution” means making a spectacle of firing a jerk. All the other employees know the jerk likes to criticize, complain, argue, and create discord and distress.
So, a “public execution” shows disruptive, counter-productive behavior is not tolerated. If someone does not get with the program of harmony and productivity, at some point a good manager must de-employ the harmful employee. Doing so sends a loud and clear message about what behavior is not tolerated under your management.