Your superstar employee is out pregnant. An amazing employee’s father is dying of cancer. Your right hand man injured himself in a Rugby game. For these employees, you will do whatever it takes to help them get back up and running. You will bend over backwards to accomplish whatever is needed to help them because you know that the effort is appreciated and will be reciprocated.
Then, you have that one employee who always spends their accrued vacation hours before they have really earned them. When they call in sick, you grit your teeth and seethe. Life happens, yet you are bothered.
The question is why do some situations bother you with some employees and not with others?
The big difference is that your rockstar employee will have a contingency plan in place so that work gets done in spite of life interruptions. They will work from home when their child is sick, or they will make plans to cover their job if they need to suddenly leave town. It isn’t their job to do that, but they do it anyway as a way to contribute to the team and the core values of the company. That extra little something that they do to make your life easier is why you will work hard to make them happy. Those who don’t aren’t really team members.
Christopher Robin: “There now. Did I get your tail back on properly, Eeyore? “
Eeyore: “No matter. I’ll most likely lose it again anyway.”
Last month, I interviewed a candidate who was world weary, tired and unhappy. This person had been out of work for a long time in an industry that is rapidly changing. The overall impact was the “Eeyore Effect.”
Christopher Robin and his gang are forever reaching out to help their friend re-attach his tail, but Eeyore shows no appreciation for their efforts. Not only does he not thank Christopher Robin for helping him, he criticizes Christopher’s work. He also puts forth no effort to permanently find a solution to his tail falling off. Has he thought about super glue? Stitches? Duck Tape?
In other words, Eeyore is an energy drainer. He is hard to be around. He has very little enthusiasm for his life, his work, his tail or even his friends. Can you imagine as if you had an employee like this?
Watch for the “Eeyore Effect” while you are interviewing, even if when faced with the world weary, tired and unhappy.
(Thanks to Michelle Barnes for “The Eeyore Effect”)