Toxic employees of the month: Unhappy delegators
Gallup has been actively tracking employee engagement levels in the U.S. since 2000. Recently, their Gallup Daily tracking results showed that only 32 percent of workers across the country report being engaged at work, compared to 13 percent of employees around the world. While the U.S. boasts a higher percentage, this figure shows that just under one-third of the country’s workforce is actively supporting and growing their organizations, according to Inc. The other 68 percent may be anywhere from passively disengaged to outright unhappy at their companies.
It’s not difficult to determine who are the unhappy employees in your office. They may be the ones you overhear complaining about their work in the break room or who always seem less than enthusiastic to pitch in on team projects. Perhaps their quality of work never seems to improve, nor has their attitude toward their job responsibilities. These workers certainly will bring down the morale of your office if left to their own devices.
If these employees are so unhappy, why are they still sticking around? One reason could be that these unhappy workers are delegating their responsibilities to their hardworking or dedicated team members. Whether these coworkers are too nice to say no, or don’t realize how much extra work they are taking on, unhappy delegators will eat away at the productivity level in your office.
Why are unhappy delegators so detrimental?
While chronically unhappy employees are detrimental enough to your office morale level, unhappy delegators are incredibly toxic in an efficient, engaged work environment. When you hand them an assignment, instead of tackling it themselves and producing high-quality work, they may seek help from their coworkers, gradually enlisting their peers’ assistance, until they hardly have to do anything at all. Meanwhile, they may even go so far as to complain about the work itself – even when they have shifted all their responsibilities onto others in your office!
This is a tricky situation. While collaboration is increasingly encouraged in the modern workplace, your employees still need to take ownership and do their job. If not, your other coworkers may grow disconnected and leave because they are being burdened with extra work – while their unhappy delegating coworkers get all the credit.
“Unhappy delegators are incredibly toxic in an efficient work environment.”
How can you handle these toxic employees in the workplace?
One way to push these employees to do their work is to micromanage their assignments. You cannot trust these employees to complete long-term projects, as they are more likely to procrastinate or hand the work on to someone else. Instead, give them short-term deadlines on their work and then check in with them each day or week to see how they are progressing, according to QuickBase. Even the more unhappy delegators may be willing to work harder if they know that their progress is closely monitored.
Unfortunately, unhappiness and laziness are two qualities that are extremely difficult to fix in the workplace. While you can provide training and development opportunities to give workers the support they need to do their job well, it is ultimately up to them to take charge of their work and career growth. If they still refuse to do so, you may need to part ways and begin hiring new employees that will be more willing to happily do their fair share.
To ensure that you don’t hire another unhappy delegator in your workplace, begin using pre-employment tests to weed out applicants who may be less qualified or ready for the job. You will know right away whether or not they have the skills needed to do their job well, helping you to hire smarter, more quickly. Contact EmployTest today to learn more!