Managers: Mean People Impact the Bottom Line
There are some mean people in the work world. Now I’m not talking North Korea dictator, Kim Jong-Un, kind of mean. You know they guy who had his uncle executed. It’s not that bad, but it is bad.
Mean people make your business suffer. I don’t care whether it’s a corporation, government agency, non-profit or association if you have mean employees they are hurting your company’s bottom line. There are articles about how to avoid the biggest offenders. And blog posts about what to do when people don’t like you on the job. But most important is the fact that it’s management’s job to foster a good work environment for all employees. It’s also their job to make the company money.
In some cases, management isn’t aware of the mean person or they think the person is doing a good job. They feel as long as things are going well, they don’t need to make changes. What the leadership doesn’t understand is although the group may be achieving their metrics, things could be so much better.
Mean people aren’t usually mean all the time. It only comes out when they need things to be to their advantage. They display their mean qualities very carefully, like a chef with a sharp knife filleting a fish. They say unkind things to their coworkers. They make sure to spread not so nice stories about others, whether true or false. Whatever happens, their response is almost always negative.
Remember the culture and mood of your company workplace is made up of everyone who works there. Researchers have proven that emotions are contagious among people who spend a lot of time around one another. Spending time around people like that changes other people’s outlook. Good workers start disengaging. Gallup estimates that disengaged employees cost the U.S. at least $450 billion annually in lost productivity.
To counteract the influence of a negative coworker the best option is to fight meanness with kindness. Don’t get sucked into their mean perspective. This will take courage, especially if you’ve been going with that negative flow with them for a while. But trust that it only takes one person to begin the shift to a more kind and empathetic workplace environment.
If kindness doesn’t work the next best option is to associate with them only when required. Excuse yourself from the drama. Stay focused on what you need to do and use mindfulness – a quick breathing exercise maybe? This can help you overcome the negative influence and start living happier at work despite the presence of a meanie at the job.
What are your suggestions for overcoming the influence of mean people at the job?