Bad Apples, Teams and the Workplace

The article below describes how my workplace was to a T.

It was bad but now after ripping the core out of a couple of bad apples I work in an amazing team that gets a whole heap of stuff done. Sometimes when one bully or bad apple (and their co-horts) are gone another steps right in to take their place.

Thankfully at work, that didn’t happen and I now have a happier work environment.

Bad Apple PicFew things are as bad as being on a hopeless team or at a miserable workplace.

Now a University of Washington study has found that just having one toxic employee can turn the team and company into a complete mess. If you prefer, you can read a good summary of the study here.

The academics identified so-called “bad apples” as the ones who who don’t pull their weight, who are chronically unhappy and emotionally unstable, or who are always bullying or attacking others.

They found that just having one of these on board would send the organisation or team into a downward spiral. In one study of manufacturing teams, for example, they found that teams with a dysfunctional member were more likely to have conflict, poor communication and problems with co-operation.

Trouble is most organisations aren’t real flash at handling this sort of problem. Especially when the person has been there for a long time and has some power.

So what to do? According to the study, companies should be more careful when hiring. And it’s also a good idea, it reckons, to teach team members and managers the fine art of handling lunatics:

The Age Blogs: Management Line

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