1. They thrive on gossip.
Not only do employees who create a culture of gossip waste time better spent on productive conversations, but they also cause other people to respect their co-workers a little less — and anything that diminishes the dignity or respect of any employee should never be tolerated.
2. They hurry to lead the meeting after the meeting.
You have a meeting. Issues are raised. Concerns are shared. Decisions are made. Everyone in attendance fully supports those decisions. Things are going to happen. Then someone holds the “meeting after the meeting.” Now she talks about issues she didn’t share earlier with the group. Now he disagrees with the decisions made. Waiting until after a meeting to say “I’m not going to support that” is like saying “I’ll agree to anything, but that doesn’t mean I’ll actually do it. I’ll even work against it.”
3. They say, “That’s not my job.”
The smaller the company, the more important it is that employees think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done. Saying “It’s not my job” says “I care only about me.” That attitude destroys overall performance because it quickly turns what might have been a cohesive team into a dysfunctional group of individuals.
4. They think they’ve already paid their dues — and they act like it.
An employee did great things last year, last month, or even yesterday. You’re appreciative. You’re grateful. Saying “I’ve paid my dues” is like saying “I no longer need to work as hard.” And suddenly, before you know it, other employees start to feel they’ve earned the right to coast too.
5. They believe experience is an end in itself.
Experience is definitely important, but experience that doesn’t translate into better skills, better performance, and greater achievement is worthless. Experience that just “is” is a waste. Saying “I have more experience” is like saying “I don’t need to justify my decisions or actions.” Experience (or position) should never win an argument. Wisdom, logic, and judgment should always win — regardless of in whom those qualities are found.
6. They use peer pressure to hold others back.
The new employee works hard. She works long hours. She’s hitting targets and exceeding expectations. She rocks. And she eventually hears, from a more “experienced” employee, “You’re working too hard and making the rest of us look bad.” Saying “You’re working too hard” is like saying “No one should work hard, because I don’t want to work hard.” And pretty soon very few people do — and the ones who keep trying get shunned for a quality you need every employee to possess.
7. They hurry to grab the credit …
Saying “I did all the work” or “It was all my idea” is like saying “The world revolves around me, and I need everyone to know it.” And even if other people don’t adopt the same philosophy, they resent having to fight for recognition that is rightfully theirs.
8. … almost as fast as they hurry to throw others under the bus.
A vendor complains. A customer feels shortchanged. A co-worker gets mad. No matter what has happened, it’s someone else’s fault. Saying “You’ll have to talk to John” is like saying “We’re not all in this together.” At the best companies, everyone is in it together.