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Getting rid of the professional de-motivators

Updated on September 17, 2010
A tangle is a tangle.
A tangle is a tangle.

Killing the killjoys in the workplace

If you’re a senior manager, a lot of very strange things come to your attention. Workplace issues. Personality conflicts. Dismal productivity. A workforce which acts like furniture, completely uninspired. A mysterious supply of middle management people who go through the motions of being conspicuously hard working, and yet seem to be among the least productive.

There’s a reason for it, and it’s a pretty ugly reason. These are the killjoys. They’re the office petty tyrants, the yellers and screamers, the brattish backstabbers who use performance reviews as an instrument of torture.

Or to simplify the description slightly, scum. These people could take the fun out of sex. They would be more recognizable on six legs, but the suits often make them look human. They can completely de-motivate anyone or anything.

Who wants to work with or for an insane, squeaking, professional, intellectual, moral, and spiritual eunuch? They’re usually lousy at their own jobs, out of touch with both their industries and their staff, bureaucratic robots with no talent of any kind.

The effect on staff is quite noticeable:

Very high turnover of staff in those sections or departments: If you like spending a fortune hiring staff, the killjoys are the people you need. If not, get them off the premises ASAP, preferably within the next half hour.

A menagerie of complaints: A garbled, somewhat spun, version of events in those areas will reach you in the forms of grievance complaints, gossip, and the killjoy’s endless supply of self justification. The only thing they do without fail is make excuses.

Utterly inconsistent performance reviews: A great worker suddenly becomes a bad worker. 12 months of underachievement is allowed to proceed until the performance review. They’re liars, but they’re not efficient as liars, either.

A monotonously unimpressive level of performance: Business basically stands still. Cosmetic improvements form the bulk of reports. “We’re not actually achieving anything, but we’ve been holding counseling sessions and we’ve painted the customer service area fire engine red.”

Disciplinary reports: Breathing, laughing, crying and eating are crimes, and you get to hear all about them. All this trivia is designed to let you know the killjoy is right on the job.

Killjoys are professional underachievers, if nothing else. All this is to give the illusion of achievement, and some managers fall for it. The killjoys slither up the seniority list, until they become CEOs and promptly kill the company.

The de-motivation, however, is the real killer. Losing talented staff who would otherwise have performed well is the inevitable and obvious effect, but the employment of subservient sheep is far less obvious as a danger. These, like the killjoy, are non-achievers. They’re second rate if you’re lucky, but likely to be fourth rate or lower if they’re friendly with the killjoys.

In sales, killjoys are killers of revenue. Good salespeople do best in a dynamic, not a pedantic, environment. They don’t react well to being screamed at by someone with no personal skills and apparently less social skills.

Killjoys are trash. They have no right to be in any place of business. They should be exterminated from your business, as quickly as possible. If you need idiots, there’s no shortage of them, but until you do, get rid of them.

You’ll find you’re suddenly popular with the entire workplace. That’s when you really know you’ve got it right.


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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      A very true statement and there is always just one who completely ruins the atmosphere.


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