Team Conflict – Adversarial Employee – Part III
There is weapon out there, in the business world and the regular world, that can ruin a collaborative team environment in a matter of seconds. Email, Chatter, the Internet.One Friday afternoon, all was calm on the business front. Typing resonated from the top of cubicle walls, the distant sound of meetings could be heard in conference roomsand nearby offices. The day was transitioning nicely from a productive workday to a relaxing three-day weekend. The sun was going down and people began saying their good byes and wishing each other well for the weekend. The office was closing down. It felt good.Saturday morning I check my blackberry…. No! It had begun. The warring parties had started again. In the calm Friday evening there had been an assault. Not via email, where it can somewhat be contained, but posted on the companies web forum- for ALL TO SEE.The assault had come from my team’s side. From the ready-for-a-fight employeethat found fault in everything the other team did. He had posted comments questioning the other team’s ability to perform, the responsiveness, and inability to work together. What was this?The leader of the other team had been wise in his response by sending a professional email to the disgruntled individual (cc’ing his immediate team) requesting a meeting to address his concerns.Drawing even more attention to this display and driving the wedge deeper, the adversarial employee, not pulling punches, responded with an email of his own, noting his unhappiness with the other team’s performance capabilities, cc’ing all members of both teams and their executives. Not only did he display his displeasure with their performance, but also made remarks to our team as to how he was in the right, and that he was standing up for the little guy. Gloating did not help.
Lessons Learned:If possible shut down all ability for a disgruntled employee to communicate. Not really, but if something like this happens, you need to be ready to respond in a quick, firm manner. Take some time to think about what you want to say and what the repercussions to the individual, you, the team, and those that are above you are. Craft a response that will make clear your dissatisfaction with the individual, but also not destroy the teams ability to work together.
- Dealing with a disgruntled employee (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Building Teams Based on Talent, Not Skill (communiquepr.com)
- Four Motivation Mistakes Most Leaders Make (blogs.hbr.org)
- The price of ignoring what’s wrong (coachtactics.wordpress.com)
- Definition of Employee Performance Management (thinkup.waldenu.edu)