LEADERSHIP / JAN. 01, 2015
version 3, draft 3

Tips for Dealing With an Employee Who Doesn’t Care About Your Company’s Well-being

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Ideally, employees work to improve your company by dedicating their time and resources to its betterment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some employees work mainly for the paycheck and lack any attachment or concern for the company; they mainly work to complete their tasks. Such an attitude affects their productivity and can easily affect others.

So how do you go about dealing with an employee who is indifferent about your company’s well-being? Here are some steps to cope with such employees.

Speak Up

Approach the employee and address the specific behavior that shows that the employee does not care. For example, negative talk or complaints made without using the proper channels. Speaking up puts the employee on alert and makes him aware that his behavior is not acceptable. However, if you choose to keep quiet, you subconsciously encourage negative behavior that may affect other employees and slow down productivity. Speaking to the employee may also encourage him to open up on issues that may be affecting his attitude towards the company and may bring to light issues that need your attention.

Identify the Problem

Often, employees start out enthusiastically and change their attitude along the way. Sometimes the loss of enthusiasm is personal, other times it may be a reaction to activities taking place on the employer’s end that the employee dislikes. Encourage an open and honest conversation; prepare yourself for harsh criticism. If the employee does not give objective reasons, try to understand her point of view and talk her through any issues that may arise. Address any personal concerns she may have and plan a follow-up meeting to track progress and evaluate whether the meeting had an impact. Once you bring the problem to light, both of you can make deliberate effort to improve.

Evaluate your Policies

Employees can stop caring about the work if they disagree with the company’s policies or if the policies do not cater for their interests. Create a forum where employees can criticize and make suggestions on changes to the policies. Alternatively, formulate questionnaires to employees encouraging them to evaluate and criticize current policies and suggest changes. Through this, you can create policies that improve employees’ attitude towards work; if you show them that you care, they may reciprocate by paying more attention to their work and by extension to your company.

Motivate your Employee

Evaluate the situation with the employee and come up with different ideas on motivation. For example, assign the employee different roles and responsibilities to present him with new challenges that may challenge him to change his approach to work. Alternatively, transfer the employee to a different department and give him more responsibilities. Focus your effort on different ways you can change his attitude towards work. Address the root cause of the problem and make changes that influence him directly.

There is no easy standard way to deal with an employee who does not care about the company and dismissing her is not always an option. Look at such a situation optimistically and focus your efforts on ‘reforming’ the employee. Additionally, remain objective and understand that you cannot always change the situation and sometimes dismissal is the only option.

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