Have you ever worked with someone who has a bad attitude? I’m talking, someone who is just a jerk? They are hateful, act like they know it all, and ultimately piss everyone off. I have. What I don’t get is why do companies allow that person to stay? Don’t they know that employees with bad attitudes damage your brand?
You know exactly who I’m talking about don’t you? You can see that person in your mind. The person you worked with 10+ years ago, they don’t escape you. They have been etched into your brain, the person you never want to be like and the person you will 100% steer clear from in business for the rest of your life.
It’s easy to remember and tell yourself, “Whew, I’m so glad that’s over with!” But if that person still exists in your business today, and they work on another team for which you aren’t responsible for, you are doing a constant avoidance dance. Am I right? But that doesn’t fix the issue. So how do you correct it?
First, if you own your own company and you have someone like this who works for you, I’m calling you out. You absolutely have to fix the situation. I have seen other “leaders” keep people on their teams who have a bad attitude and are disrespectful to others on the team. When the owner of the business does nothing to stop the jerky person, and actually says “Oh it’s worth it to have this person on the team, look what s/he brings in to the business financially!” Or even worse, the owner promotes that person within the company, the owner is pretty much done in the eyes of the team. The trust is gone.
Why? Because the owner is the person who establishes the culture, the core values, and the brand. If the owner says one thing but then rewards a completely different behavior, no trust can follow that situation. Additionally, the brand will be damaged, because the brand the owner says s/he wants and the brand they are forging with this disliked, disrespectful person are completely opposite.
So if you are a business owner and you have this happening in your business, you have to fix it. To save the rest of your team, your brand, the culture you want to create, and the core values you have tried to establish, you have to get that person on track or remove them from your organization. Financial gain can’t trump the foundation you are trying to build in your business. It isn’t sustainable.
If you’re not the owner but a leader in the organization, and this person isn’t on your team, you need to pursue two pathways. The first is to talk to your peer, give him/her the true feedback on their direct report, and support your peer through the conversion s/he needs to have with this person.
If that doesn’t work, the peer is too weak, etc., then you can always have a conversation with someone. I would say that technically it’s your responsibility to do so since you are a senior leader in the organization and therefore charged with upholding the values, the culture, and the brand. So go address the behavior with the person. They need to own it and change or they won’t be able to stay with the company.