Attitude Virus Hacks Workforce Productivity, Cost Millions
This is B. Raking News reporting from WWRN – that’s Whatever Works Right Now! The station that sounds great but never gets results.
While hackers worldwide are circulating the Internet and invading your personal accounts, the At-E-2D Virus is infecting your employees. Business owners and managers representing organizations of all sizes across the country are reportedly under attack from a new virulent strain of the AtE2D, commonly referred to as the Attitude Virus.
Experts in employee motivation and attitude report this virus can be difficult to diagnosis in its earliest stages. But according to Dr. Mo T. Vation, “The virus is everywhere. It’s contagious and it can spread in minutes before anyone knows what has happened.”
Early estimates on lost productivity and profits due to the effects of the Attitude Virus are in the billion of dollars. Dr. Mo T. Vation warns that non-performing and poor performing employees carry the virus, and innocent and misinformed managers have been identified as hosts.
The Attitude Virus, Mo T. Vation continued, infects the healthy worker and threatens the bottom line in a short time. Motivational regulatory agencies around the world recommend immediate immunization to Cure De-Motivation in the Workplace through rapid onset personal development programs.
This is B. Raking News reporting from News Central.
What the heck is going on in the workplace today?
The Attitude Virus seems to be everywhere. We know that there are lots of layoffs, employee engagement is suffering, and human potential is being wasted. We see the symptoms every day in the workplace as rudeness, poor service, malaise, resentment, anger, and increased job stress. Managers feel the pain of the long-term effects of the Attitude Virus with employee turnover, lost productivity, customer complaints, mistakes, accidents, increased worker and consumer liability, and a drain on profits. But the greatest damage the virus has is that it leaves the workplace vulnerable to other attacks from competitors and opens the back door for healthy workers to escape.
Employees, managers, and owners afflicted with the bad attitude virus seem to spend the better part of each day figuring out ways to avoid work, complaining about the work they have, or redoing work. These behaviors have been reported in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine as a workplace condition called “presenteeism” – showing up for work but not being very productive. It’s like absenteeism…but worse. Absent workers place additional workloads on the remaining workers. But with presenteeism, employees are still showing up and still are receiving a full paycheck…but often work harder at spreading the virus than doing their work. They can be disruptive through gossip and negativity, demoralizing the other workers, and not doing the jobs they are being paid to do.
The cost of this presenteeism in the U.S. alone is in the hundreds of billions of dollars and results in over 2.5 billion lost workdays per year.
Who are these workers infected by this Attitude Virus?
The Attitude Virus mutates quickly and often. Many variants exist. And in the short time you read this article, more mutations will likely pop up. This is a short list of the most common strains of the Attitude Virus:
- The Victim – this is the most common form of the Attitude Virus. The Victim uses the black cloud hovering overhead as protection. No matter how much you do to help him (or her) find blue sky, he finds reasons why it won’t work. He sees doom and gloom everywhere and works very hard at making everyone around them feel as miserable and hopeless as he does. He sees himself as a hard-working, loyal, and conscientious…and that is true for the most part. But his negativity and hopelessness is contagious and counter-productive. The Victims eventually suck the energy and optimism from anyone who is willing to listen.
- The Ball and Chain – This employee may expend more energy than almost anyone else in the organization but never gets anywhere. In history, a ball and chain was a weight clamped around a prisoner’s leg so that he can’t run fast enough to escape. He takes 10,000 steps daily trying to escape but goes nowhere. He expects and takes credit for all the effort he makes, ignoring poor or no results. The worker afflicted with the ball-and-chain variant carries the highest risk of wasted resources, lower productivity, mistakes and accidents, and losses to the bottom line.
- The Rumor-Monger – this worker is deceptive, experiencing delight in spreading baseless, negative rumors. While the Vampire is destructive, he is often powerfully popular making it difficult for employers to rid the organization of negativity. Typically enthusiastic and energetic, he thrives on the emotional fragility of others. He helps others see everything that could go wrong and vows to spread the message. Vampires are all-too-ready mediators, willing and able to hear complaints especially those that will ferment into more conflict. Once bitten by the Energy Vampire, the new host is compelled to seek more victims, spread negativity, initiate gossip, and drain hope.
- The Ornament – this is the worker who feels entitled because he has 20 years of experience and expects to ride along for the rest of his career like the hood ornament on a car. He believes that past experience entitles him to years of future success without any personal investment except showing up. His position and title are personal prizes that can’t be revoked –once a star, always a star – that become organizational scars the impair engagement and productivity. The Ornament could also be the high-potential up-and-coming superstar who once ordained with the title lives to protect his reputation more than exposing himself to learning and growth. Both variations work hard at dismissing and deriding other workers in order to protect their position as past or future superstar.
Several other popular variants of The Attitude Virus are:
- Perfectionist – the worker or supervisor who can never be pleased.
- Not-my-jobber – the employee who refuses to do any task, no matter how simple.
- Uncommitted – the worker whose indifferences place additional workloads on the other employees.
The Prevention and the Cure
Teaching managers to motivate effectively is the prevention and the cure for improving productivity and employee retention. Most supervisors have the skills to handle day-to-day activities but only the top performers have the ability needed to inoculate the organization and avoid the traps that derail most people. Employers of choice provide managers with the tools and training they need to detect the infected worker or new hire before they leech out the morale and motivation from the healthy workers. Employers of choice develop and train managers to have the skills to “treat” or quarantine the infected worker and coach them back to health.
How well do your managers match up and what are you doing to select, train and develop your first line of defense, supervisors and managers, against the AtE2D Virus?
Now is the time to attack the Attitude Virus and to immunize your organization. Attitude Virus-free organizations grow and prosper because they identify positive workers, quarantine their infected employees and either nurture them back to health, or “delete” them before they infect other workers. A work culture cleaned and free of the Attitude Virus is rewarded with a healthy bottom line, high rates of employee engagement, increased innovative capacity and continuous productivity improvements.