Our greatest asset in any business is our staff, they join our business and bring with them bags of enthusiasm, specialist skills and help us get done what needs to be done for our every growing and increasingly busy business. Our working lives are great because we surround ourselves with these people making our lives a breeze, right?
Often the reality is different, we hire people on perceived skill level first and foremost, almost never thinking about how they will fit in with the team and the culture of the business then all to often things start to go wrong, the niggling starts between employees, the he said, she said scenarios start to appear, work that you thought should have been done hasn’t even started and it’s nobodies fault and slowly but surely our work space becomes a haven of stress.
More often than not, at the centre of all the trouble sits one person, that person I call the terrorist.
Characteristics of a Terrorist
- They are often one of the longer serving staff members.
- They are usually highly skilled at what they do.
- Their attitude leaves a lot to be desired, they are always complaining (I sometimes refer to them as the union rep!).
- They do enough work to ensure they fly below the bosses radar.
- They are controlling individuals, they make themselves appear important to others and always take on management in packs rather than by themselves.
- They will talk about others behind their backs, they manipulate behind the scenes, they are the instigators of the he said, she said conversations, thriving on the chaos that ensues.
- They are power hungry, they build micro empires around themselves, recruiting whoever that will listen to them into their little empire or terrorist cell.
What can be done with terrorists, in my opinion, nothing, you have to get rid of them, just like you have to remove a cancerous growth from the body, you need to remove these people from your business.
So how do you do that? In my experience with many companies, if you fanatically focus on the cultural aspects of the business, all those behaviours that you are trying to encourage within your team, you will find that the terrorist will start isolating them-self because they will not fit. That isolation removes their influence and once that happens they no longer have any power which brings them to one conclusion, they want to leave.
Don’t get me wrong this process is never easy in the short term but in the long term, your business will breath a huge sigh of relief and the culture within the business will change almost overnight.