No Accountability: Employees Who Love Getting Out of Things

Whether it is an unecessary argument or a major event that ends badly, there are just some workers who don't want to take responsibility for anything.  They will do any number of things to justify why they can't do something, won't do something, or why it is someone else's fault/job/issue, etc.  Some of you reading this probably are thinking of a few employees who should have been gone with the wind like yesterday.  So how do we expose, correct, and if need be, send these people on their "It's never my fault" ways?

1.  Track the lying.  Whether boss, supervisor, co-worker, or friend, note the lies and excuses made whenever you confront this person.  There are those lies that cover up the fact that one was aware of a situation, but didn't do anything about it.  Then there are those lies that have a little truth mixed in them.  Of course, we can list many more lies that are specifically created to do just one thing, cover one's you know what!  Keeping an  accurate record with date and times included of all the story-telling will help you build a case against the troubled worker in case you are ever called into a meeting about him or her.

2.  Provide proof.  When one doesn't want to face the truth, he or she is going to call your bluff.  Have the evidence to back up your claim.  For instance, the worker said that the project would be done on XYZ date and time.  Did you bother to get this person to document his or her promise?  The trouble-making employee keeps coming to you with what someone else is or isn't doing, can this person back up her statements?  You notice that a worker's job performance is going down hill steadily, what is the evidence that shows this?

3.  Record meetings, conference calls, etc.  From witnesses to recording devices, you will need anyone or anything to help you hold people accountable who historically wiggle their way out of things.  Be sure to have attendees (as well as those who couldn't make meetings) sign a sheet that confirms they read notes or was present when tasks were communicated.

4.  Enlist others to help hold others accountable.  Tardiness, blame games, and other things that workers do to disrupt work flow can be hard to keep up with.  So when you are in a power position, use your skills to stay one step ahead of the slackers by using a couple of your most loyal assistants to help.  Tell them what you are looking for and explain to them how the problematic worker is causing challenges for the whole team.  Reward those who aid you.  However, if your help seems to be siding with the trouble-makers, be sure to confront this person.

5.  Note excuses and rejections.  Whenever the employee is called upon to handle business affairs, but appears like he or she can't/won't  then advise this person why it is important for he or she to participate.  Be sure that the job description and what you are asking is not in conflict.  Also, keep note of the reasons as to why the employee has repeatedly rejected your work requests.  When the next review period comes along, bring up your findings and why he or she is ineligible for a promotion or some other incentive.

6.  Discuss and record errors.  One of the mistakes leadership makes when dealing with employees is to rarely address errors.  It isn't until major issues come up that one wants to threaten a worker with job dismissal.  Don't wait until problems repeatedly show up.  Instead, as soon as one brings an issue up with a worker, investigate.  Periodically use other employees to check over one's work.  See to it that everyone is on the same page, reading from the same manuals/memos/emails, and have a clear understanding as to what is expected when it comes to completing a task.  If no one is addressing issues, then a worker will take advantage of your oversight and start pointing the finger at everyone else while saying things like, "I didn't one never told me...I didn't know we were supposed to do it that way."

With so many unemployed workers in this world who desperately want to work, there is no reason why a boss/supervisor/manager should be stressing his or her self out over workers who don't want to be held accountable for their actions.  Start building cases against those who are trouble-makers.  From leadership to contractors, note what the issues are, supply proof, list solutions, and confront those who never want to be held accountable for anything.

Nicholl McGuire

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