"It's not my job to do something about it. That's the manager's job."
Personally, I think it is everyone's job, but that is a blog of another day. Let's say you ARE the manager.
"What's your excuse?"
There are three reasons managers don't do anything about the "bad guys" under their control.
1. Lack of courage - You can call it anything you want but it is plain cowardice. It gets excused any number of ways. That could be a game - name all the excuses for not doing anything about bad people at work.
- We all need to get along.
- It will hurt the morale at work. If I fire him, other people will feel less safe about their jobs. I'm just thinking about the whole team.
- Joe just needs more training. That's why he didn't get that report done on time.
- I am just a traditional person. I believe in being generous and giving people a lot of chances.
No, actually, you are a coward. You know that Joe doesn't come to work until 11 but writes down on his time card that he starts at 9. You know that Joe lied about having accounting experience. You know that Joe kept asking Bernice in the office next door to go out with him and when Bernice complained about it you made jokes about how easy some women were offended. Deep down, you know why you really did that is that you are afraid of Joe. He yells and threatens people when he is angry. You're afraid he might take a swing at you one day. You're afraid he might complain about you to his friends on the council. You're afraid he might tell his friends and relatives not to support you in your job or not to hire you for that next job. You took his side against Bernice because you knew she probably would not go out and try to organize people against you, talking behind your back. You knew she would be angry but just go back and do her job. She wouldn't shout at you, because she thinks it's unprofessional. You weren't afraid of her. You let the bad guy win.
2. You're not honest. How dare I say that when I don't even know you? Obviously, you don't know me too well if you ask that! How do I know that everything you said isn't true? Well, if you really, truly were concerned about morale, the team, people feeling as if they are going to have a second chance, let me give you the opportunity to listen inside Susie's and Joe's brains. (For those new to this blog and the Tribal Leaders Institute, you can click here to learn more about Susie Sainte and Joe the Tribal Worker - not now! Finish reading the blog first.)
Susie: 'Just how stupid does the manager think I am? What if I was in Joe's position wouldn't I want a second chance? Let's see, I would only be in Joe's position if I had lied about my experience, didn't come to work on Fridays and harassed my co-workers. Not going to happen.'
Joe: 'One more time and this is your last chance. Yessir, yessir really sorry boss-man. I hope he quits talking soon. I have a pool game to go to. I thought he was going to do something after that Bernice squealed on me but it looks like I dodged the bullet again. Yes, yes, I understand, never do it again. As soon as he leaves I am off to the bar to meet Stan. I hope they didn't start without me.'
Josephson's article was short but it brought up a couple of good points. One of those was that by letting the bad guys win we let down all the good people who are counting on us.
Meet Fred. While Susie was created as a combination of the most ethical people we know, and Joe is a combination of the most unethical, self-serving individuals we have met in organizations, Fred is just a regular guy.
Fred comes to work, does his job, tries to get it all together to pay his bills on time, take care of his kids, get along with his co-workers. He wants a fair shake. A job where everyone does his share, where he doesn't have to work extra to make up for 'ghost workers' getting paid for days they don't work.
There aren't a lot of people out there as one-sided or the other as Joe and Susie. There are a whole lot of Freds, though, who work for you, or who depend on your services. Every time you let the good guys win, you're letting all the Freds of the world down. Think about them the next time you ask what's the harm in it?
What is Fred thinking while all this is going on?
"Things never change. Making an effort to do a good job here or get services is really a waste of time. I may as well not bother."
What is the third reason? I will explain (and demonstrate) it in my next blog.