Evaluating Employees

Bad Apple Staff Members Part 2

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

The old saying about one bad apple spoiling the whole barrel can be applied to the office setting. The negative effects of bad apple workers on an environment can be dramatic.

So we begin the list of these troublesome employees and how to deal with them:

Bad Apple Type 1: The Self Promoter

The Self Promoters are 'all about me' personality types. They work on the basis that making themselves high profile will get them promotions. They are the ones who always have an excuse to drop in to see the boss.

They like to press the flesh and, unfortunately, this does sometimes get them the raise or the promotions they were seeking. They never, however, achieve anything based on merits. Instead they use their energies to promote themselves. Under close inspection you'll find that this type is not actually living up to expectations or hitting extraordinary targets. They just make you think they are.

What effect can the self promoter have on your other staff members?

A lot of ill feeling can be caused by the Self Promoter with his/her colleagues. They tend to be good at usurping people and taking advantage of the good nature of others. Staff members who are being used by this kind of bad apple often find that credit for something they have done gets unjustly given to the bad apple.

Because they make themselves very visible in the workplace, Self Promoters can easily overshadow the quieter members of staff who do work hard for your company and deserve to be rewarded accordingly.

What to do if you think there is a Self Promoter in your midst?

Ultimately you don't want this sort as part of your business, but as the boss you need to act in a diplomatic way. Be mindful not to fall victim to the wily ways of this particular person. Just because they make the most noise, doesn't mean they're doing the best job. Always verify where credit is due before mistakenly rewarding the self-promoter.

Bad Apple Type 2: The Crow

These are worrying creatures. They tend to caw endlessly about themselves and sit about from on high watching what goes on around them. They're egomaniacal, and being so affects their ability to make decisions. The problem is that the Crow is afraid to make a wrong one, as he will never admit to being in error. He therefore does nothing.

The Crow will appear to be superior and in control of things but in fact he is rather ineffectual, being too concerned about maintaining his posture to actually contribute anything of real value in the workplace.

What effect can the Crow have on your other staff members?

If something goes wrong the Crow will blame someone else and make it known. He will busy himself with trying to apportion blame and point the finger rather than use his energies looking for a solution to the problem. Of course, the Crow is unlikely to be able to provide a fix for a dilemma because he is reluctant to make decisions. The Crow's propensity to blame others can create frictions in the office and if you, as boss, aren't aware of them, other staff members can feel ill-treated and unjustly reprimanded.

What to do if you think there is a Crow in your midst?

There are only a couple of ways to deal effectively with a Crow. Either insist that he make a decision, and bring something to the table, or get him down from his lofty position and get him integrated. If he fails to deliver, and he very likely will, fire him.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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