Employees can be the greatest thing or the worst nightmare for a business owner – it all depends on who you hire and who you decide to keep. The right employees contribute to the company’s success, stability and happiness. The wrong employees will bring the company down, and cause the owner endless anxiety and grief. After five years of hiring and firing many people, I’ve come to the conclusion that almost all employees fall into one of these four categories:
1. The Motivated Employee
This employee brings positive, contagious energy. Motivated employees are usually happy and enthusiastic. They are devoted and loyal to their company, and do their best to help the company grow. They consider their job a privilege, not an entitlement. When they make a mistake, they don’t blame others for it. They take responsibility, apologize for their oversight, and do their best to prevent it from reoccurring. When an opportunity arises for them to hone their skills or to learn something new, the motivated employees are the first ones to take advantage of it. They are usually one of the earliest to arrive and latest to leave work. They stay late to finish a project, or complete it from home after-hours. Motivated employees usually have great work ethics. They smile often, greet their colleagues and work well with their teammates. The motivated employees were the best employees I’ve ever hired.
2. The Indifferent Employee
This employee is usually very obedient without complaining much. Indifferent employees focus on completing their tasks so they can finish and get out on time. They don’t spend a lot of time chitchatting with their colleagues. They don’t see the workplace as a place to have fun, but as a place to perform a job function in order to pay their bills. They arrive exactly on time, leave exactly on time, and get annoyed when they’re asked to stay late (although they may not outwardly show it). They may get frustrated if a colleague asks them for help, because that distracts them from working. They may nod a “hello” when they pass you by, and rarely show any excitement about their work. They will take responsibility for their mistakes, but with a nonchalant attitude that makes them appear unapologetic. Indifferent employees can be important to a team, as they don’t cause drama, rarely get into arguments and usually complete their tasks quicker than everyone else.
3. The Disgruntled Employee
Everything bothers this employee. Disgruntled employees talk negatively about the company to their fellow coworkers, and they complain when something doesn’t go their way. They constantly find excuses to not do their tasks, and they tend to push off responsibilities that they don’t like doing. If it were up to them, they’d push it off indefinitely. If you confront a disgruntled employee about a mistake, they’d give you 14 excuses and blame it one someone else. They don’t take initiative, never promote the company and find fault in everything around them. Disgruntled employees rarely smile, and when they do, it’s usually when a colleague is agreeing with something they’re complaining about. They sulk for not getting promoted, but fail to see that it’s the cause of their own behavior, attitude and lack of work ethic. They have a habit of arriving late to work, blame it on traffic and complain if you ask them to stay overtime to make up the missed hours. Disgruntled employees exhaust the employer’s time, energy and focus, as well as bring negative energy to their department.