ne of the most difficult situations to deal with as a consultant when going into a business that is experiencing difficulties, is the doom and gloom employee. This is the employee, who is so mired in their own despair that they do not believe in anything other than failure. In many cases that I’ve seen, this employee manages to infect all those around him with the same attitude.
Very often in a situation like this, time is a critical factor. You have to decide in a relatively short time what to do about this type of employee. I normally use a simple approach to decide what to recommend to the client:
SIMPLICITY WORKS BEST
- Can this employee’s attitude be modified in a short time? In short, can the same profile be changed to help the company?
- Is this a key employee? If so, how much additional damage would the company suffer by their absence?
- Is this an influential employee? If so, what damage would the company suffer by their removal?
As you can see, the process is simple; I have sometimes sat with an employee and received an undertaking to stop being negative, or a resignation in less than 10 minutes. I am of the opinion that clients pay me to be highly effective and to get things done that they may have had misgivings about doing.
PREPARING CLIENTS FOR ATTRITION
I always brief my clients of the possibility of casualties when I start any particularly difficult assignments. I have never been engaged to smooth things over, because I firmly believe that clients are quite able to do that by themselves. I deliver results, even if at first they are unpalatable to some. I am always guided by what will be best for the company. Whether it be in the short, medium and long term.