A good percentage of these ex-employees didn’t have the skills (or desire) to do the job asked of them. But some of them were “bad apples” and should have been avoided at all costs.
Before we go any further, we should define what a “bad apple” is. Here are some of the characteristics:
- They are skilled complainers. They complain often about work conditions. They may complain about their pay. They may complain about customers who require more care and attention than the average customer. Complaining comes easy.
- They may use gestures to complain. For example: The boss issues an order and, after the boss turns his back, they frown while making sure everyone sees that they’re unhappy with the boss.
- They create upsets amongst the staff. They will tell Mary that Sarah did such-and-such wrong. Often they will then go tell Sarah that Mary doesn’t really know how to do her job. They are very good at causing employees to be upset with each other AND they are able to pull off this feat without others knowing they did so. The word “covert” may have been coined with this “bad apple” in mind.
- They find reasons NOT to get something done. This is an area of high creativity.
- When criticizing others, they are quick to tell you how important it is to be honest. They may have invented the phrase: “constructive criticism”. But there is nothing constructive about this person’s motives. He smiles while holding a very sharp knife behind his back.
- They are also very skilled in getting employees to think less of the boss. They will usually avoid those employees who absolutely love the boss. They’ll go after the employees who are not yet really happy about being a part of the team. The image that comes to mind here is a lion attacking the weakest members of the herd. These “bad apples” can be quite skilled, yes, but if they can score a workplace upset quickly and easily, they’ll go for it. Courage is not one of their attributes.
- They will give you the impression they care about your business and that they are going the extra distance for you. They will appear happy when your business does well. Almost always, these are false impressions. They don’t really want others to succeed.
A business with even just one “bad apple” can be at a real disadvantage. The skilled ones cause a variety of problems, some of them obvious, some of them hidden. But the end result is always the same: lost revenue and a workplace that is increasingly unpleasant to be in.
So, how do you make sure you don’t hire a bad apple?
My best advice is to find out more about the people you hire BEFORE you hire them. Go to HireBetterStaff.com and watch a 3-minute video that explains how testing people first can make a huge difference in the quality of your staff. Below the video is a link to a free test being offered to business owners. There are NO strings attached to this offer. You take the test for free. If you’re impressed, we’ll tell you more about our testing service.