Five ways to deal with an employee who isn’t a team player

Organisations need employees to collaborate and engage with each other so as to achieve full productivity and meet targets. However, there are some employees who display a lack of commitment, think only about themselves and do not work towards a common vision and purpose. Brinda Dasgupta talks to experts to find ways to deal with such employees, who can have an adverse impact on the team’s morale and its working.

Offer coaching: Coaching helps to encourage a culture of openness and collaboration, and drive a common vision among employees. “Coaching involves focused development-based conversations between reporting managers and their team members to develop skills required to succeed in a role. Individual performance is important but being a strong team player is more important,” said Sandeep Kohli, national director – HR, EY.

Focus on feedback: Set clear expectations, responsibilities and provide consistent feedback, said Sonali De Sarker, director of human resources at NetApp India. “A leader needs to ensure that the employee in question is clear on his/her role, responsibilities and expectations of deliverables. This should be followed by periodical one-on-ones to ensure that the employee receives both verbal and written feedback on the progress or lack of progress made,” she said.

Promote activities and interactions: Organisations should place a strong focus on camaraderie as the conduit that holds teams together. “It is important to organise team-building activities throughout the year to promote a healthy competitive spirit among employees,” said Kohli. Promoting team interactions through non-formal meetings or fun activities could make the employee feel more at ease with colleagues and help establish better work relationships, said Sarker.

Have a clear discussion: An honest, no-holds-barred talk can make a real difference. “Communicating honestly and giving clear feedback are fundamental tools that a leader needs to use. While giving feedback, the leader should call out the impact of the employee’s behaviour on the business and why it is not aligned to the organisation,” said Kenneth Lean, vice president and executive coach, Mercuri Urval India.

Demonstrate intent: After discussions and feedback, it is important to show that you mean to take concrete steps. “A leader should show intent to take required action after concluding a thorough process of investigation. He or she should not at any cost compromise on the organisational values,” Lean said. A change of role or environment for the employee in question may be prudent, he said.

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