Have you ever been matched up with a group that you didn’t like to work with? Without coworkers who care deeply for the process, it’s difficult to get that synergy between members. That’s why consultants like Mark Vena preach the importance of good hiring practices. You should look objectively at your own skill set, identifying the missing parts that you need to grow your business. You’ll need to lead by example, and assign your team tasks they can work together on too.

Without a basic foundation for communication, team cohesiveness is hard to come by.

The Nay-Sayer

Image Source: Free Digital Photos.net
Image Source: Free Digital Photos.net

The nay-sayer is an employee who constantly brings down the ideas that you and your colleagues create. At first, this person seems very thorough by pointing out potential flaws in your plan. Soon, those small details become a big nuisance that stifles the creativity of your team.

Make each member feel appreciated by assigning them a specific portion of the task, or by giving them a fair chance to present their ideas. Even when your mind seems like it is already made up, there may be a detail you overlooked or a better idea.

For more time sensitive projects where everyone’s opinion is valued but not often shared, you can encourage these nay-sayers to get more proactive by challenging them. They may not like how the project is shaping up, so what are their suggestions to improve it?

The Jerk

The jerk starts off as an office clown, goofing off with others during downtime. After a while you might start to notice this person taking more breaks than normal, encouraging others to do the same, or helping to start office gossip and rumors. The jerk is also common at the executive level where arrogance can get in the way of productivity.

Sometimes it’s important to reality check these types of employees with a face to face meeting between HR and management. For more extreme cases you may just have to let the employee go. If someone on your team is dragging down the lines of communication and decreasing the productivity of the team, it’s up to you to recognize that issue and lay it to rest.

The Flake

The flake never shows up. This person is always late, usually has some poorly concocted excuse as to why and often brushes off warnings with a joke. It can be difficult to deal with a flakey employee, but your business demands attention from the employees you pay to help you grow it. Employers can sometimes fall into a trap where an unreliable employee often has good ideas or executes his or her workload well.

Eventually, you have to confront the problem. The business has standards, and the only way you can get through to an employee like that is take a stand and be firm. Issue verbal warnings to the employee, write that person up when he or she is late, and stand firm on the punishments you levy.

If you don’t want to fire the worker outright, put him or her on suspension for one week to show how serious you are. A week without pay in this economy will send a message to someone very quickly, but you need to make sure you thoroughly document each step of the disciplinary process for your own legal protections.

Hiring the right personnel is an acquired skill that startups usually don’t have access to. If you’re in this group, the best you can do is some background research from the candidate. Ask for references and review the web for evidence of that person’s work.

There is nothing wrong with expecting integrity in the work place, but it is up to you set the standard.

This is a guest post by Sara Stringer

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