Woodruff and Colleagues

ncreasing Team Productivity

Have you ever worked with a team member who was difficult?  Maybe they whispered about other team members, or gossiped in the office, or displayed a negative attitude?  This behaviour can lead to the existence of a toxic environment that has many if not all other team members considering leaving the company.  It just doesn’t seem fair that one, generally happy and productive, employee should have to feel it necessary to change their working position due to the behaviour and attitude of one, generally miserable and unproductive, employee.  Yet it happens more often than one would imagine, and it costs the company a great deal of money in attrition and re-hiring.


When situations like this arise in an office it would do the manager/leader well to nip this in the bud at the earliest possible time.  It may require difficult conversations, and difficult decisions, and that can put the manager/leader in a position they don’t quite know how to handle.  Many managers/leaders choose to ignore the behaviour.  Sometimes they aren’t even aware of it as none of the other employees are brave enough to discuss the situation for what it really is.  Knowing your preferred behavioural style by having a DISC and Motivator profile generated is helpful in this situation as a manager/leader will then know how they have to step outside their comfort zone to avoid the exorbitant expenses a toxic work environment creates.  Even better is to know both your own and the problem employee’s profiles to truly understand the dynamics of interaction between the two parties.  Knowing how the conversation might go allows the manager/leader to role-play a variety of scenarios possibly making the actual situation less daunting.  We can all step out of our comfort zone for short periods of time.  We do it when we go to weddings, to funerals, to classrooms, and many other situations whether we like it or not.  Failing to address unacceptable behaviour in the workplace has the potential to lead to unwanted decreases to the company’s bottom line and, worse, to the mental stress of every member of the team.


Would you like to know the 7 Questions a manager/leader should ask when acting on problem behaviour?  You can find them here.

The content in all blogs is the point of view of the blog author and is based on their experiences.  Readers have the option to disagree, and/or, disregard any information in any blog.

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