Employee egos at the expense of business results | Sunday Observer

Employee egos at the expense of business results

14 February, 2021

Trust is a critical component of all high-performing organisations. When trust is high among employees, organisations are able to face the brutal facts of their company’s reality in an open manner. Solutions to complex problems are found. 

When co-workers don’t trust each other or feel they are under personal attack, the process of problem-solving breaks down. It takes time to build trust. It can be destroyed quickly, and can never be completely restored. The cost of such an attitude and behaviour of employees is huge though there is no perfect science to calculate it. 

Why do some employees behave in such a negative manner? How come some employees become larger than his or her job and play politics?. They are insecure. Perhaps they are mediocre performers who look for ways to build relationships with the top to take advantage. Their mindset tells them the way to advance at their company is at the expense of others. They may be jealous of those who are advancing more rapidly than they are, and rather than improve their own personal performance, they try to drag others down to try and prove that they are better than others. They don’t take personal responsibility if things don’t go well, and they blame others for their own failures. 

People with ego fail

In my experience, these types of people eventually fail. The organisation will raise its defense mechanisms and ensure that they are not successful playing their political game. Those pursuing a personal agenda to the detriment of others, can instead take a path that will help you succeed.

Pursue a personal agenda that is supportive of your co-workers. When you are supportive of them, they will be supportive of you. When you take the mantle of leadership on a specific issue, they will follow you and support your efforts. Much of the work within organisations gets done by the informal organisation.

Become part of that informal organisation, which will help you get things done. You might find an effective way to deal with an individual playing the game of negative politics. Depending on the circumstances and the relative balance of political capital, you may decide to challenge the individual and put them on notice that they have more to lose than you if they continue.

Gossip culture

Leaders need to play a crucial role in nurturing an effective organization. On occasion, a leader may reach a conclusion or make a decision based on input from a single person, and not talk to all individuals involved, and therefore fail to get a complete picture of the situation. A person speaking negatively about others may be attempting to advance their personal agenda. Leaders can listen to complaints, but shouldn’t take sides until they speak with all parties. You can then make an informed judgment and decision – with all the information in hand.

If someone brings gossip to you, don’t complain that people promote gossip, but instead ask yourself why people come to you with gossip? People will come to you with gossip only if you entertain gossip. So ask yourself what’s wrong with you.

Respect each other

It would be wonderful if everyone was honest to each other, respected each other, nice to each other and had overall company success as the best interest at heart. But the reality is, many people are out for themselves.

Sometimes, it is a personality issue, and sometimes it is the way the corporate structure is set up and the behavior has been tolerated in the past. You have to be above all the petty behaviour.

Although difficult, it is critical for your future to learn how to deal with these types of behaviour by certain people. All these types of behaviour come from ego – ego is built over a time based on individual backgrounds. While some ego is important and helpful, having an inflated ego without substance with evil intention can hurt you and your business. Have you ever gone to a meeting and not had a shared goal to make the business win or the same goal as the person leading the meeting? If you have not, you are an exception.

Why is it that we sit in meetings all the time and know that we have a different goal but do not think that others have different goals when we are leading meetings? Hidden agendas can kill an idea, and if we are not aware, these agendas come out of nowhere and we are not prepared to deal with them – and to battle it out for a common objective. Every person is motivated by something different. It is important to remember that when keeping your goal on top of your mind.

What do we do with all this? It is a big issue in many companies today. But if your goal is to have an executive edge and lead and succeed, you have to see the big picture and realise that a leader is only a leader when there are followers. When reviewing the performance of your direct reports, be sure to collect data on the degree to which they are trusted by their co-workers, in addition to the results that they accomplish.

Employees who are not trustworthy adversely impact the effectiveness of your organisation and you will eventually part company with them. And remember – always listen to both sides before reaching a conclusion or making a decision. It will make you a more effective leader, and help improve the performance of your company.

Distinguish between good employees and bad – treat them based on merits. Make performance the single criteria for reward and recognition – that’s the only formula for business success. 

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