Taking control!!

Active and Inactive Bad Employees

In speaking to business owners I hear a lot about how they “can’t find or keep good people” and how they have to “keep bad people” because they have to have a certain number of warm bodies to get the work done.


The real question is: Who is in control?


In the above case, it is not the business owner – it is the “bad” employees!!!


My follow-up questions and the answers of the business owners are:

                                              Questions                                                                                                    Answers

           What is your Employer Brand?                                                                                       What is an Employer Brand?

           How many sources of candidates do you have?                                                            We run ads in the local paper.

           When was the last time you fired someone for inadequate performance?                     Not recently…

            Why won’t the good people stick around?                                                                     Various reasons.

Bad employees come in two types: Active and Inactive. The Actively Bad Employee is one that is actively talking down the company, their supervisor, where the company is going and spends more time spreading negativity then actually working. The Inactive Bad Employee is “putting in their time”. They just don’t apply themselves, comes in late and does the bare minimum to not get fired.

Clearly the Actively Bad Employee is the most dangerous. In some cases they may perform as a good employee and use that as cover for their negativity. Both are parasites and are not adding value or at best adding marginal value. I see companies keep employees like this around all the time – which damages the Good Employees motivation and in the long term drive them to find other employment.

The bottom line is that the Employer needs to take control of this situation as it will only get worse. In my experience, most of the good people are leaving due to the number of bad employees who are allowed to stay. Good people do not want to work with bad people. If they think that the employer is not getting rid of the bad people then the good people will go elsewhere – for “various reasons”!!

The cost of this is unbelievable and is dramatically higher then a turnover calculator would give you. You are probably losing customers due to your bad employees, you are losing the opportunity to grow, your productivity is dramatically lower, your cost of Paid Time Off will be higher, absences will be higher and the list goes on and on.

I have been in numerous situations where we had to make a conscious decision to stop the madness, fire a Bad Employee and put the onus on the Good Employees to make the work up and find us a good employee. In each case the good employees stepped up and were much happier in the long run.

Clark Ingram, MBA, SPHR, CEBS, CPCU is the principal of People Profits which is a financially oriented Human Capital Strategy and Planning firm based in the OKC metro area. www.PeopleProfits.com ©2013 People Profits, LLC