Bad Attitude.... it's a bad term and now that I have written it, I would encourage you not to use it. Why? Because as a manager, saying someone has a bad attitude is of no help:
- It does not tell you what the person is doing that is unacceptable
- It does not allow you to take any kind of action
I have coached a lot of managers through what they called attitude problems. There are no attitude problems, but there are:
- Employees who do not build and maintain positive team relationships
- Employees who communicate in ways that are disruptive or disrespectful
- Employees who cause fellow team members stress and unease with their comments and/or actions
- Employees who have a negative impact on the workplace because of excessive complaints and derogatory remarks
- Employees who do not adequately collaborate and cooperate with team members
Many managers throw their hands in the air and believe that they cannot do anything about these employees. Not so. The above behaviors are not acceptable and can and should be managed just like any other expectation.
I think saying that an employee has a bad attitude is often a cop out because dealing with performance issues around one's demeanor and communication style is hard. As long as you call it a bad attitude, you can rationalize doing nothing but complaining about it. Yep, it's not easy to talk to an employee about these topics but it is harder to leave your team to deal with it every day.
Few employees with so-called bad attitudes get good clear feedback and fewer still are held accountable for being productive members of the team. Do you agree?