Mean Coworkers & Office Culture – The Impact
We all have encountered a co-worker who we felt was mean and/or difficult to work with in the work place. Most co-workers I have encountered have been great to work with and helpful to their fellow employees, but every once in a while, there is an employee who acts as if the entire business exists for his/her benefit and can be down right inconsiderate and unpleasant in interactions with others. Did you ever sit down for a minute or two and think about what impact that might have had on the overall company culture and indirectly the bottom line.
Confrontational employees do in fact have a catastrophic effect on business. A study released by the Workplace Violence Research Institute in April 1995 showed that workplace violence actually resulted in a $36 billion annual loss. If you own a business or manage a team within a business, results matter. However, the means in which people go about doing their job does have an impact on others in the office. Does this type of work culture increase turnover or employee disengagement? It does not take much effort to connect those dots. We have discussed in prior blogs the financial impact of higher turnover within any business and how many employees will disengage or shutdown if management allows this type of behavior to be prevalent in a work environment.
Confrontational individuals who engage in “workplace violence,” physical, mental, or emotional abuse, bullying, or threatening behavior are detrimental to office culture. Many times, these people are very good at hiding their combative attitude and revealing it only when it gives them a perceived advantage. Although this can be difficult to identify in today’s workforce with remote employees and/or managers,ensuring this behavior is addressed needs to be a priority.
When other employees cannot reach their potential due to the actions of disruptive individuals, then the overall success of the organization, including the bottom line, cannot be achieved. Creating a character-based culture that makes it as difficult as possible for a disruptive employee’s actions to find traction will encourage productivity and limit employee turnover.