How to find the ‘cancer’ in your business

Tom McCarthy Category 01


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We have all heard this expression time and time again but what the heck does it mean? ‘Cancer’ or the C word is a heavy word and we are not taking away from the sincerity of the life changing disease. When we refer to cancer in the business, we are talking about those people who spread negativity, bad morale and lower the team’s productivity by behaving in unfavourable ways. Sometimes it happens without you realising because you get sucked into it or you may be one of them!

 

The Bully

We all know who this person is but there are different levels of bullying that you may not be aware of. Now we’re not going to sit here and list off a bunch of legislation… Bullying is a no go in the business and some people are just too scared or simply can’t be bothered reporting a bully. So it could be happening without you knowing about it! The bully is someone who yells, intimidates and simply treats people like crap making their work life miserable. Your manager can be the ‘cancer’ or it could be a top performer. Just be mindful that the bully does exist and they may be causing damage to your business that you may not be aware of!

 

The Whiner

The moaners and groaners are not appreciated in the business whatsoever. This person complains about EVERYTHING! The little petty things that shouldn’t even matter! You know that one person who comes in and talks about how tired they are, or how hot or cold it is in the office or how crap the office coffee is? This person puts ‘complaining’ on a whole new level when they start complaining about little things like the position of their desk or the little bit of over time they have to do to complete a project. This person sets a negative tone in the office and once you notice it, you will notice how it spreads to everyone else. You want your staff to come in fresh, happy and positive in the morning! Too hot? They bring in their own mini fan to keep themselves cool. Bad coffee? They bring in their own style they like and have a better day. You want your team to be positive even about the littlest of things otherwise, it will manifest and snowball.

 

The Gossip

This is the one person who cannot be trusted. Why? Because if they’re telling you all the goss about everyone else, they’re sure as hell discussing your business too. This person puts a damper on the business because they generally add their negative opinion to any situation. People only talk about things that annoy them, hence the gossip. So they usually talk about who’s under performing or who’s slacking off. To put an end to this time waster, make it a policy that there is to be no gossip in your business. Or better yet, if you’re an employee experiencing this, put an end to it by telling the culprit that you would rather talk about something else.

 

The Fraud

This is the employee who is exploiting your business. The one who is doing dodgy business deals or going on one too many ‘business’ lunches. You don’t want this person in your business. Of course, they’re doing illegal things and once they’re caught, they won’t only lose their job but you can take legal action. This person is stealing from your business in one way or another and your business will suffer in the end. This person could also be someone who has lied on their CV, paid off some references and is working in your business without the experience and knowledge you believe them to have. This means they end up wasting time trying to teach themselves whilst acting like they know exactly what they’re doing. Don’t let this person fool you!

 

The Lazy

This can be cancer to your business because lazy actions spread throughout the company. This is the person who thinks they can get away with doing nothing all day. Basically playing solitaire (back in the day haha), now people just surfing the web on Facebook or looking up things that interest them. They get distracted and their work ethic is disgusting. They avoid doing anything and palm things off to other employees. You do not want this person in your company. You want people who are engaged, active and energised. The lazy people will bring them down because you’re not doing anything about it. It drives the high achievers mad and there’s nothing worse.

So how many employees did you just tick off in your head? Do you think you have a ‘cancer’ or ‘cancers’ in your business? If you do, what are you going to do about it? Something needs to change pronto otherwise your company is going to crumble! A strong team, a strong foundation and a strong attitude are what is going to get you through so we suggest you work out a plan to make it be known to these particular staff that their attitude is unacceptable. Put together a plan for your company culture and have your team join in. Make them accountable for their actions and ask them what kind of behaviours and attitudes they would like in the company they work in. This is their work environment as much as it is your business so there needs to be fair ground. Work smarter, not harder! (insert wink face)