Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Are you a bad employee?

Are you a bad employee?
Know which actions of yours make the company judge and label you as a bad employee, deny you promotions and increments, and put you on the firing list?
Know which actions of yours make the company judge and label you as a bad employee, deny you promotions and increments, and put you on the firing list?

By Devashish Chakravarty 

The 80:20 rule can be interpreted for the workplace as 20% of the employees doing 80% of the best work. It could, however, also be read as 20% of the employees causing 80% of all major problems. So, which actions of yours make the company judge and label you as a bad employee, deny you promotions and increments, and put you on the firing list? We lay down common behavioural pointers used by most professionals.

What is your profile?

The Crooked

The earliest you can get into trouble is by printing incorrect data in your CV. The companies that conduct employee background checks find that corporates have little tolerance for lies in resumes. Potential employers believe that at the workplace, such people could continue to attract negative attention by false reporting of data, padding of expenses, personal use of company resources like downloading movies through the official mobile phone, and theft of cash or goods. If you're caught doing such things, most managers won't consider it worth the risk and effort to counsel or rehabilitate you, and would choose the easier option of termination.

The Unreliable

You could frustrate your manager by not holding yourself accountable for your work and time, as well as by being unreliable in critical situations, such as coming late to office or meetings, missing delivery deadlines and offering poor quality output.

The Destructive

In an easily identifiable avatar, you are the one who intentionally causes damage to the firm's property, either by habit or to get even for a perceived wrong, thus becoming the biggest risk to a firm's existence and reputation. More insidious, but equally risky, is flouting of law and company policies to engage in illegal activities, including using the firm's identity and e-mail for unauthorised transactions or false communication.

The Disinterested

You can be the most common burden on the company's resources simply by being lazy and disengaged. You could get away with your apathy for some time, but a smart manager may spot you through your avoidance of ownership, lack of feedback in ongoing projects, non-volunteering for responsibilities and use of questionable short cuts at work. You could also give yourself away through constant complaints about personal issues, highlighting problems without suggesting solutions, surfing the Internet at office, and routinely exceeding your leave quota.

The Incompetent

This is a special label that is earned when you do not have the required skills and cannot deliver. The firm may try to get you trained, so don't foil it by refusing to change or learn. A great team leader would try and create the environment, systems and team culture to make it easy for you to pick up the right skills. He would advise you to focus on learning specific actions and to practise the same. A patient HR may even try to sculpt a job that suits your skills before letting you go.

Is your attitude eclipsing your good points?

Mr Right

With a top-notch academic profile, you are used to being rewarded for right answers. But if you're politically naive, you would be unable to navigate teams and bosses to get the work done. Ask savvier colleagues to teach you about 'stake holders' and 'buy in' before frustration derails the team's output, and your career.

Mr Wrong

You may be brilliant at your work, but have you outgrown your teenage angst? The best indicator of such behaviour is that you can't stand company regulations and believe that bosses and management are always wrong. A neutral mentor may help you grow up before a short-tempered boss blows you up.

Mr CEO

You, the super-achiever, always had a steep learning curve and want to become the CEO overnight. Highrisk decisions and pushing your team 24/7 threatens the business and increases attrition. Counselling by a successful senior manager and a smart HR could train you for enduring success.

Mr Analyst

With a squeaky clean and successful past, you are simply afraid to fail. Your analytical skills help you to project the potential pitfalls of any proposal and avoid accountability and action. You need to be counselled that your attitude stalls you and your team, and your past won't save you from a pink slip.

Mr Gladiator

You love the spotlight and have the skills to win. However, the only way you know is to finish off your other gladiator team-mates. A seasoned manager and regular feedback can help make you a general, who leads his soldiers instead of fighting them.

What do your colleagues say?

Uncouth

Everyone knows you at the workplace for all the wrong reasons. Your team members find you uncivil and rude, and avoid working in the same projects as you. You do not pass up a chance to backstab your colleagues and even complain about the boss. Despite your fantastic output, your manager classifies you as a cost.

Inflexible

The easiest way to sabotage your team is to be inflexible about everything. You probably follow the boss' instructions and the office rule book to the T, while believing that the rest of the team is incompetent and overpaid compared with you.

Uncaring

The job description never mentioned emotional quotient (EQ) and yours is pretty much in the single digits as opposed to your high IQ. Your lack of empathy for team-mates and insensitivity towards their feelings leads you to yell at them and stress them at every stage. The HR lets you know that you are the unanimous choice for 'Jerk of the Year' award, not for the next promotion.

Violent

Violating the law is the shortest route out of the office door. Physical violence against team members, verbal abuse and sexual harassment are all red flags for the firm. With such bullying, expect a quick ending.

Insubordinate

The last straw breaks the camel's back. At the workplace, refusing to obey direct instructions and insolent replies are easily recorded and quickly escalated across levels. The manager has to put in very little effort to ask for a replacement to fill your seat.

(The writer is an alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad and CEO of Quetzal Verify, an HR solutions company.)

Source : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

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