Ever heard another person say to you, “you won’t believe what some people get away with at my work, and nobody says anything to them.They seem to be a protected species, with everyone aware what they do and don’t do, but the boss or manager doesn’t seem to pick up on it. Why?”
Isn’t it funny how there is always that person who people seem to like, but will talk about them behind their back. Face-to-face the conversation is always pleasant, but you just know there is something that irks you about them.
Then you finally have had enough with the annoying habits, the tantrums they pull, and the way they talk to everyone in the office, so you go and have it out with the boss.
Guess what happens with this conversation? The boss either ignores the situation and explains to you that you are over reacting about nothing, or they say, “you need to look after your own area of concern and let me worry about the other employees.”
Nothing changes, but frustration increases because the same things are happening without any difference.
A close friend of mine came to me with a very similar situation several months ago. She was asking me over a casual gathering how this co-worker could get away with unacceptable behaviour (as far as she was concerned) and the boss didn’t or wouldn’t do anything about it.
“How long had this co-worker been at the company?” I asked.
“About twelve months more than me,” she said, “But I seem to be doing all the work and ‘they’ sit around on their iPad playing games and no-one says anything, and then when ‘they’ are asked to give some input, or follow through on a process, ‘they’ start huffing and puffing and makes the office a miserable place to work. The boss knows what’s going on, but will not do a thing to resolve it.”
Unfortunately, when businesses and companies grow at a rapid rate, they tend to look for bodies to fill the position, not people to develop with the business. A lot of small to medium enterprise businesses don’t seem to have the resources needed or understanding of interpersonal skills to find and select the right candidate for the position they are trying to fill within their business.
They tend to look at their CV to review their past performances and areas of responsibilities with previous employers, but fail to look into the person’s personality temperaments, which would give them the inside information about how they work within a team, as individuals, taking orders or even taking responsibility for a given task.
Now we have to look at the boss or immediate manager and what they are doing or not doing to resolve these types of issues when they arise. The manager may be an absolute great person to work for, but does not have that extraverted personality and strength to put people in their place, or explain to them that they are crossing the boundaries within the business expectations.
Every time they sit down and try to have this conversation with the ‘problem-child’ within the business, this person starts to rant and rave about how over worked they are and how they have to do all the work, and that they are surrounded by incompetent co-workers, and finally, with many tears flowing, asks what the boss is going to do about these problems?
This is such a common situation within many workplaces today, by the time I get inside the door to look into a resolution, the tension can be cut with a knife and the lack of cohesiveness is unbelievable.
I remember consulting to a sales company with a large group of salespeople working in the software industry. Each salesperson had their individual sales targets, along with key point indicators (KPIs) that they were expected to reach each month, quarter and year on year.
The CEO was not happy with the results of some of the sales staff, but wanted to follow the correct management hierarchy, and work through the sales manager, so he could then communicate to his sales team. Unfortunately, the sales manager was not a highly motivated person to drive the sales team, and failed to hold his team accountable for their results, but expected the team to step up every time he requested them to.
This manager would protect the sales team as if they were in a day-care centre and report back to the CEO how hard the guys were working, but in reality, the sales manager did not have the personality to drive this team. There is a great adage that says, “if nothing changes, nothing changes”. The CEO later confided in me that he had chosen the sales manager out of necessity not personality.
Putting the right people with the right personality into any business is critical for the growth and survival of that business. If you do not understand the temperament of a person, you cannot use them to their full strength and benefit from their expertise in their new position.
Please feel free to get in touch with me if these scenarios seem all too familiar! I would be more than happy to undertake some sales coaching with your team.