Image: Flickr - SinDesign
Ever had an employee who made outrageous demands (for salary, promotions, time-off etc) and you gave it to them because you felt you ‘had no choice’? As a leader, it’s important to manage your business strategically. Here’s ten tips on managing those who try to make themselves indispensible…
- Sometimes you ‘don’t know what you don’t know’ – if you have a sense of information being hidden but you can’t pinpoint what is happen, bring in an external expert to review your information flows and make recommendations.
- Use a function chart (like an organizational chart but for the specific functions within the business) and allocate a primary service provider and a backup person. Ensure the backup person is well trained and when people leave, ensure you train another for whichever role has become vacant. (This strategy can also work effectively for internal fraud control).
- Be aware of how your ‘reward’ systems encourage or discourage withholding of information and power plays. Rewards need to be both team and individually based if you want cooperation and high performance across your entire team.
- Be aware of ulterior motives… if an employee is constantly criticized by others as ‘not a team player’ investigate early: What’s really going on here? What is required to change this situation?
- Be willing to move people out of the company quickly if they are engaging in game-playing around information or customer relationships – it will be a lot cheaper now than when they really have you over a barrel!
- What is the culture of your business? If it is openness and support for each other the ‘indispensables’ will have a hard time thriving due to peer pressure!
- Create a culture of belonging – if people do not feel alienated or unimportant, they will be much less likely to behave inappropriately! Avoid having people see as the ‘manager’s pet’!
- Hire carefully: for key positions, always ask about the person’s approach to information sharing / hoarding when you check their references.
- Have weekly meetings with key staff – ensure there is a current action list, with deliverables, resources, deadlines and a progress statement on the list that they give you (spreadsheets are great for this)
- Use all of your human resource systems to create a comprehensive approach that works for your business – job descriptions, induction processes, setting targets and performance management, reward and recognition programs…
A business held hostage is a business at risk. It’s your business and risk management is essential, especially with the new Fair Work laws in Australia. What are you going to change? Tell us below!