Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
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What to Do If Your Employees Are Sucking the Life Out of You

Are you cutting corners to avoid those employees who are making your life–and your business–miserable? Follow these five steps to breathe life back into your organization.

How to Prevent Employees from Sucking the Life Out of You

Are you feeling exhausted these days? Have you considered resigning from the company you founded? Welcome to the “Vacuum Club,” where employees are sucking the life out of their companies. The end result can be devastating for businesses.

I recently facilitated a session at a Family Business Center where a participant boldly shared with us how his employees were sucking the life out of him. As I probed further, it became crystal clear that it wasn’t all his employees who were causing him stress; it was two people. It’s amazing how much discomfort and disruption a handful of employees can cause, especially in a small business.

It’s tough doing business in today’s economic environment and even more challenging when you’re exhausted. It’s time to take back your workplaces. Here’s how you can prevent employees from sucking the life out of you.

  1. Hire Superstars-“A” players are focused on moving the organization forward. Most are self-motivated and are too busy to complain about every little thing. They leave that job to the “C” players.
  2. Find the source-Sometimes the root of the problem is one employee. But you wouldn’t know this because it feels like everyone has jumped onboard. In most situations, this is simply not the case. It only takes one person to stir the pot. Find that person before they have a chance to infect those around them.
  3. Address the issue head on-Most toxic employees don’t wake up one day and decide they are going to make your life miserable, even though that may be your perception. Many have no idea their behavior is causing stress in the organization. Point out the observed behavior and ask them how they intend to correct the situation.
  4. Stop being so nice-This person may have helped you build your business, but now they are tearing it down one brick at a time. A slow death is more painful than a quick one. It’s time to toughen up as these toxic situations usually seep into the rest of the organization.
  5. Remove the cancer-You can come up with a hundred different reasons why you can’t fire this guy. Yet, how many of these reasons are really valid? Take action, before these toxic people become the norm, rather than the exception.

Doing nothing is not an option as it won’t be long before these people clean out your organization. Here’s what I mean by this. Tension causes stress. People have enough stress in their lives that they aren’t looking for more at work. Good employees will seek a work environment where it actually feels good to come into work everyday.

You may think that employers have the upper hand, as great jobs don’t come easy to most. But you’d be wrong. We are beginning to see waves of good employees running in packs like wildebeests crossing the plains. One employee finds a great employment opportunity, and the others soon follow.

You deserve to be happy at work and so do your people. Take action before all the air is sucked out of your organization.



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