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“When people are taking what you do for them, and thinking it is not quite enough,” Spiegelman told FBN’s Lauren Simonetti.
Spiegelman, author of the upcoming book “Patients Come Second: Leading Change By Changing The Way You Lead,” said if you don’t address the toxic work-ethic, even if it is just coming from one member of your team, it can spread and hurt the entire operation.
“And they can bring other people down, as well,” Spiegelman said.
Here are Spiegelman’s four tips for spotting and effectively putting out these types of workplace morale fires.
No. 1: Find them
“Well the first thing [you] have to do is find them … In our case we have somebody full time who's dedicated, not only to building a great culture, [but also] to being the ear-to-the-ground to understand what's going on in the environment … her job title is Queen of Fun and Laughter.”
But the queen is not always about fun and games, according to Spiegelman.
“When she finds that [entitled] employee, that smile turns to a scowl and she is all about tough love and getting that person in line when they step out of line,” he said.
No. 2: Have a Real, Tough-Love Conversation
“First thing you do is … have a real conversation,” Spiegelman said. “And it needs to be as soon after the event as possible.”
Here’s what he suggests you say:
“You bring them in a room, you tell them look: we do so much for you. We have a group of people that really appreciate what we do, but you're standing out as someone that doesn't seem to appreciate the kind of environment, [and] you've taken it too far. And you've got to realize that there's a limit -- and you need to get back in line.
“So it's tough love it's right away after that event.”
No. 3: Give the Benefit of the Doubt
If and when you realize one of your employees takes his or her job for granted, Spiegelman says, it may just take a reminder to let them know they’re not handcuffed to their desk to get them back on track. Or, a bigger discussion on potential opportunities for more responsibility might in the long run actually make them more productive.
“Well some people … feel like they're entitled to something more. And people just tend to push those limits, and in some cases they are just self-unaware, and they don't know what they're doing and they need to be trained and they need to be counseled and coached,” Spiegelman said.
No. 4: Know When to Say Goodbye
But if you address the issue and it doesn’t change a thing about the employee’s workplace attitude, it might be time to part ways, he said.
“But if it becomes that person that does it again and again -- that has a strong personality, or is [going to] be a negative influence on the type of culture you're building – you’ve got to move on.”