badAppleBad employees can ruin a business from the inside out on various levels. They can fail to complete projects on time or at all, spread negativity, drive customers away, just to name a few. But even if your employees are resistant to the bad employee it can still cause major issues and drive your good employees away.

I was talking with a friend about his job, he works for a small local retail chain. He use to love his job but is ready to quit because of two employee. My friend shows up on time, does his work, and goes the extra step to help improve the place by cleaning, improving processes, and doesn’t get sucked into office politic or gossip, etc. Overall he is a good employee. His employer has recognized this and does reward him. But there are two co-workers that are ruining his work spirit. The one co-worker calls off all the time, will leave work as soon as she can, and when she does show up to work she is either late, hung over, or is “sick”. The other co-worker, although he shows up to work on time, he is extremely slow and has tunnel vision when it comes to work. He won’t do any thing extra and has that “Some one else will take care of it” attitude.

Because of these two bad employees, my friend has been having to pick up the slack. A lot of slack. He is suppose to work 5 days a week. He has been working 6 days a week. They constantly call him in. Although he does tell them no most of the time. It is the fact that they still call him. If he is working with either co-worker he usually has to do his work load and part of their work load, which usually means he has to stay late to help get things done.

At first picking up the slack wasn’t very often and the extra hours were welcomed so my friend didn’t mind too much. Plus he only had to work with either employee once maybe twice a week. But things have gotten worse and my friend has been working with these bad employees three to four times a week. It is taking a toll on my friend. His personal life has suffered greatly. He barely has time for personal upkeep let alone time to relax. His social life is gone. We hang out maybe once ever 2 months now. He usually is so tired we don’t do much or heads home/to bed early. He has gone from a good employee to ready to quit and is actively looking for another job and he isn’t alone.

My friend has talked to management/owners several time and has let them know he is ready to leave if things don’t improve. Lucky they know his worth. They recently fired the one employee, hired two more who are turning out to be bad employees so my friend is still stuck. At this point my friend’s work spirit is totally ruined. He stopped going the extra mile and has demanded that he only works 5 days a week.

If you have employees take a moment this week to reflect. Do you have any bad employees? How do your employee’s behavior affect each other? If you do have a bad employee maybe it is time to talk to them, set expectation and goals. If that doesn’t work maybe it is time to fine new employees. It is better to have one good employee than 2 bad employees.