Mean Girls (or guys) at Work

Not all companies are huge right? In fact, many have fewer than 100 employees. And when you have a small number of employees, it’s extra important to curb the mean. Because, believe it or not; mean girls (or guys) can have a significant impact on the bottom line!

What is MEAN?

Usually, it’s an untintentional action. I mean, who wakes up in the morning thinking they want to be mean? No one, right? It’s that emotions get the best of people. And they ruminate on issues that most likely shouldn’t even concern them. They overhear conversations and add their own meaning without knowing the facts. Then they spread their opinions to others causing entire departments to be at odds. They gossip, they bully, and they thrive on drama.
These aren’t mean people. In fact, when confronted about their behavior, they are usually completely surprised. Negativity has become their norm. Their default mode.
Often, they’re super star performers. So, owners and managers tolerate constant office drama, gossip, and problems.  And the result is that managers end up dealing with more drama than with business results.

Mean becomes a habit

Yep, the bullying becomes the habit. The passive aggressive behavior, habit. And the culture of the organization begins to deteriorate.
Managers must recognize that these habits are performance issues. As much as the person who doesn’t have the skills or ability to perform their job. Getting along well with others in the workplace is, in fact, a job skill and if overlooked can be detrimental.

Things to Consider

Ask yourself these questions about your staff member (consider only the last 6 months):
1. Have I noticed passive aggressive behaviors on more than one occasion?
2. Have I had to intervene in personnel issues unrelated to business on more than one occasion?
3. Does this employee rationalize their own behavior yet point out the faults of others?
4. Is this employee overly defensive?
5. Does this employee seem to be involved in or behind every office disagreement?
6. Have I caught this person in either direct or indirect deception?
7. Does this employee become prone to emotional outburst when they feel  threatened?
8. Have others complained to you about the behavior of the employee?
9. Are you tolerating the behavior even though you shouldn’t?
10. Is dealing with this employee distracting you from your own work?

Now what?

If you answered yes to five or more of these questions, it may be time to replace that employee. The toxic behavior causes turmoil, and you can’t afford the wasted time.
It is time to raise the standard of conduct in your work place. And, improve the morale of everyone.
Make today the day employees return their focus to their job and you return your focus to your profit.
Want to read more on this topic? You might like Gossip, The Silent Killer of Business


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