All About Toxic Employees in the Workplace

What motivates Toxic employees? How do Toxic employees control other employees?

Introduction

If you run a business, you’ve likely encountered a “toxic employee.” You hear complaints about or you experience a worker who is mean or abusive. But you hesitate to deal with the employee because he/she might be technically gifted/hard to replace. This article discusses the complicated social dynamics that arise when one or two employees engage in abusive and intimidating behavior. Also covered here is how toxic employees and their tactics harm the business and coworkers.  Toxic employee tactics consolidate and maintain informal power in the workplace and control coworkers for personal gain. This behavior goes against healthy workplace values and conflicts with company goals. Unproductive drama distracts surrounding work units, victimizes workers and prevents the achievement of company goals.

This material addresses a workplace where well-meaning leadership is disengaged or fearful. It does not address a workplace where the prime abuser is the chief executive. When the chief executive is abusive and fails to respond appropriately to employee feedback, employee behavior will become understandably negative in response. In this situation employee acting-out is a natural consequence of poor leadership and requires a special, tailored intervention not precisely covered by this material.

Who are toxic employees?

I have defined “toxic employees” by observing the techniques they use. Looking at what sets them apart from typical employees, toxic employees are motivated by getting and protecting personal gain (power, money, or special status) NOT by achieving company goals. What the company wants of his/her individual performance is of less interest to a toxic employee. He/she typically does not recognize a duty to an overriding principle of ethics or respectful treatment of others. Finally, relationships with coworkers are not defined by the formal organization structure but are defined by the toxic employee’s own power; coworkers they favor in the moment and coworkers they do not trust.

Toxic employees are not just difficult coworkers.  They plan ahead and use strategies to neutralize supervisors and detractors.  Sometimes they are just protecting their personal power.  Sometimes they are protecting secret misdeeds or malfeasance. Finally, they may be inoculating themselves from performance feedback.

In addition, toxic employees are not just bullies.  A bully punishes, teases and abuses others at work.  This alone is grounds for performance counseling.  Venting emotions inappropriately, yelling and other forms of abuse should not be tolerated in the workplace. When bullies repeatedly target a particular employee, the effects can be devastating. This can and should be stopped by a carefully crafted performance intervention.  I have covered this topic in several other blogs.

Toxic employees use bullying tactics but there’s more. A toxic employee is more deliberate and strategic and more difficult to stop than a straight forward bully. This is because of their clever means of discrediting those who speak up AND dis-empowering supervisors and others who possess the power on paper, to make changes in the workplace.

The problem

I am often engaged to address one employee’s negative workplace performance. Once on site I find the situation is more complex than simply establishing a performance improvement plan for the offending employee. The greater the informal power residing with this one individual, the more likely the employee group around him/her has chosen up sides. Because negative social dynamics become well entrenched, any real solution requires an intervention addressing both the main offender and the surrounding social system.

How this dynamic harms employees

Victimized employees can and do suffer emotional and physical harm such as stress-related illnesses. Employee victims of ongoing workplace abuse and intimidation (bullying) will eventually require support to re-establish healthy boundaries with others even after the offender’s termination. Employees with a good perspective and a desire to support business goals often draw fire from powerful negative employees. Employees who express disapproval of the negative dynamics or who try to resist those dynamics have likely learned who has the power in both subtle and in more overt, public ways. Negative messages from toxic employees to NOT speak up can be so powerful as to render even strong, competent peers unwilling to alert leadership. It is very much worth the effort to retain those who disagree with negative approaches by re-establishing positive supports and rewarding their instincts to speak up. Intervention timing is key.

How this dynamic harms your business

Toxic employees who operate from a negative, abusive perspective and who mistreat fellow workers rarely treat customers with respect. Employees distracted by a work atmosphere of squabbles, choosing up sides and consolidating informal power structures do not perform at their best. This atmosphere serves to preserve the negative dynamics and consistently drains productivity. In addition over time, highly motivated and positive employees who have tried and failed to improve things will move on to other companies and those more comfortable in a negative environment will stay. The longer these dynamics continue the worse the environment generally becomes. All of this combines to distract even high-performing staff from promoting business goals and quality client service delivery. The failure to exercise supervisory power creates a vacuum through which ill-motivated staff can emerge and divert attention from the organization’s goals. It can take years to reverse the behaviors and the effect of the abuse on others.

Informal power structures and dynamics

Today’s workplace is full of unwritten “agreements.” Status quo power structures and informal processes are established over time and become well-entrenched. For example, those with informal power steer their peers away from employees who they see as a threat to their power and can punish those who ignore these warnings with silent treatment and rumors. Eventually, everyone “gets the message” and learns to go along. Disturbing the status quo is met with resistance and dynamics that worsen just before they begin to shift. Those who stand to lose their informal power will up the ante to preserve it. Knowing what to expect along with a well-thought out plan is essential to moving away from abuse and intimidation toward comprehensive positive change.

Ringleader motives

It’s helpful to think about what motivates abusive employees in the workplace. Mistreatment of others comes from a self-centered perspective. It is sometimes constructed to cover personal insecurities or fears. It is generally maladaptive social behavior. This behavior might be learned or may the result of formative trauma. More specific answers are beyond the scope of this material.

  • Acquisition of informal power and control
  • Advancing ones value and position in the organization
  • Decreasing (or neutralizing) another’s value and position in the organization, particularly those seen as a threat – supervisors and other change agents
  • Retaliating against perceived slights by fellow employees

 Control techniques

Ringleaders as toxic employees generally collect information to either withhold or use against targets for maximum advantage.  In addition, they use strategies to prevent complaints about them from getting traction and to weaken the power of others. The foundation of most toxic techniques is a near universal need humans have to be liked by others in the workplace.

Negative contracting is an agreement to keep secrets, look the other way, do something harmful, or spread a rumor about someone else. Contracts are typically a secret agreement between the toxic employee and others with a goal of avoiding consequences or reducing someone’s power.

Emotional manipulation is when a coworker is manipulated into questioning his/her judgment or instincts and controlled to believe the story spun by the toxic employee. Often the appeal is to the target’s sense of responsibility for the feelings of others. Clever manipulators can make anyone feel responsible for what’s gone wrong.

Blaming the victim is using clever manipulation to exploit victim mistakes and attack their credibility. This is done in a manner that shifts focus away from whatever the victim was trying to raise for management attention onto the victim’s “misdeeds.” In some workplaces employees give up trying to get management’s attention because the futility has been demonstrated repeatedly.

Marginalization is the process of ostracizing targets, giving them the silent treatment or withholding information as a way to demonstrate power over others or as punishment for a perceived offense. Depending upon how much the targeted employees want to be liked at work, this can be a very powerful deterrent.

Negative dynamics thrive when . . .

There are certain environments in which negative dynamics are promoted and enhanced and very difficult to shift. This would include those situations where:

Ringleaders are often technically strong . . .

  • Ringleaders often have access to historical information, company lore and information needed by other employees to carry out their assignments
  • Ringleaders are in positions of specialized skill and perceived to be difficult to replace
  • Organization performance evaluations are based upon technical performance results without accountability or demonstrated command of:

 Negative dynamics are more difficult to maintain when . . .

Some workplaces actively promote positive values and respect for one another. In these environments positives are rewarded and negatives are addressed. Tactics that make it difficult for abusive employee strategies to take hold include those where:

  • The organization articulates its vision of a healthy, productive workplace through a code of ethics or set of employee relations values
  • The organization informs staff how it plans to shift and maintain the desired culture with examples of what is positive and what will be discouraged
  • Performance evaluations measure end results AND the demonstration of corporate values in the areas of teamwork, collaboration, corporate ethics and pro-social behavior
  • Supervisors are connected to what’s going on in their areas
  • Supervisors operate as a well-coordinated team with good communication and consistent management techniques
  • Supervisors are well-trained in identifying and responding to negative dynamics
  • Offending employees are cautioned and counseled with escalating consequences
  • Offending employees are eventually moved out of the organization

Strategic plan to shift negative workplace dynamics

Shifting the workplace toward a more healthy and productive environment requires a comprehensive plan and approach that lets employees know where you are going and why. It also requires simultaneous extinguishment of negative behaviors and encouragement/skill building for victims and others.

  1. Establish company or departmental values and a clear code of conduct
  2. Identify the various players and research current dynamics
  3. Plan the intervention carefully
  4. Intervene with the group and then primary offenders
  5. Follow up with the group and offenders, as needed
  6. Carry out legal, sound terminations where needed
  7. Develop recruitment strategies to foster desired work climate
  8. Implement ongoing team-building and employee engagement strategies

© Copyright BCSPublishing 2012 all rights reserved – sbenoit@benoitconsulting.com

Part 3: HR Intervening with a Potentially Violent Employee

Previous articles in this series: Part 1:HR Principles Guiding Workplace Violence Prevention; Part 2: HR Steps to Preventing Workplace Violence

Making the plan

After reviewing an employee’s history, behavior and disclosures, a comprehensive plan for intervening must be developed. It is useful to consider past interventions with this employee as information on how this one will progress.  Review company policies that might apply to this situation and always maintain a respectful and firm posture toward the employee.  The employee who takes the central role in delivering the “bad news” should be a seasoned person with experience in these kind of difficult employee discussions.  It should be someone who is not afraid to set clear boundaries during the discussion and will know when to put a stop to discussions altogether.  A skilled individual can keep a discussion de-escalated and more successful overall.

The reader is cautioned to remember that every intervention must be custom-designed. Only those closest to the discussions know the best course of action.  These general steps may help in your planning:

  • Objectively assess the employee,s background, work history and safety risks
  • Consult an expert or attorney on legal process to ensure the company obligations and employee rights are protected;
  • Create plan for handling the performance conference – location, timing, personnel involved;
  • Ask the authorities and/or security to review the plan and provide feedback;
  • Create a detail schedule of events;
  • Prepare the financials for the employee’s last pay if termination is warranted;
  • Plan out each person’s role in the intervention including the talking points of what is to be conveyed;
  • Consider letting coworkers know that you will be meeting with the potentially dangerous employee or notify them directly after, if warranted;
  • Carefully consider where the employee will go directly after the intervention – escort to locker and off the premises, etc;
  • Provide instructions if the employee is not allowed to contact various employees and inform the employee of who he/she should contact if questions arise post termination;
  • Implement the plan;
  • Follow up with authorities if the employee makes either vague or specific threats to company personnel;
  • Follow up with peers and other workers who might be affected by this employee’s actions or the company intervention;
  • Provide co-workers and supervisors with instructions on what to do if threatened or contacted;
  • Review company security procedures and refresh employee understanding if appropriate.

As always, review and evaluate the intervention outcome, considering what worked well, what did not go well and potential changes to company policies.

Good luck!

(c) copyright BCSPublishing 2012 all rights reserved

Part 2: HR Planning to Prevent Workplace Violence

Previous articles in this series: Part 1:HR Principles Guiding Workplace Violence Prevention

Roles in preventing workplace violence

There are four entities to be considered when developing policies and procedures on the management of potentially violent employees: The individual, the work unit, the company and the community. The company’s role varies regarding these groups. The company has a duty to protect all employees from workplace violence. The company must listen to unit supervisors and co-workers who  disclose information or fears about an employee. The company has a responsibility to have reasonable policies that guide company operations regarding employee violence (see part one of this article). Finally, if a disgruntled employee makes threats to employees, there could be a moral obligation to inform authorities because employees can be at risk both at work and in the community. The nature and clarity of these threats can provide guidance here.

The individual employee

It’s helpful to focus on the individual employee’s history and behavior to determine the risk for violence. Over the years, I have found that looking at employee behavior overall, not just one or two incidents, is key to accurately assessing the potential for violence. But first, what are the basic emotional skills that every employee must have for reasonable chance of success?

Mental and emotional basics for every employee

Does the employee have sufficient emotional health and maturity for the workplace? Recruitment interviews and reference checks should reveals whether there are red flags in any of these areas.

  • Reasonable self-awareness and self-assessment of his/her capabilities;
  • Reasonable perspective on his/her own performance strengths and weaknesses;
  • Reasonable accurate perception of how he/she is seen by management, peers;
  • Reasonable perspective on personal responsibility (blaming others or accountable for the consequences of their poor performance?);
  • Reasonable acceptance of performance criticism; and
  • Ability to see things from someone else’s perspective.

A particular employee’s potential for violence

When HR sees red flags going into a performance counseling with a particular employee, there are some simple questions to consider.  The focus needs to be on observable behavior, behavior changes and employee disclosures. Here are a series of questions that get at the employee’s observable behavior in the workplace as well as their potential state of mind:

  • Is the employee’s employment status about to change involuntarily and what is their potential awareness and acceptance of this change?
  • Has the employee made any overt or veiled threats against the company or employees?
  • Has employee asked for accommodations or disclosed mental illness or emotional difficulties?
  • Has the employee made complaints about others that proved to be false or unfounded?
  • Has employee disclosed significant life stressors: recent or pending divorce, financial difficulties or personal loss?
  • Do the employee’s performance history, counselings and results reveal troubling patterns?
  • Does the employee have a criminal background?
  • Has the employee talked about revenge, fights outside of work or violence, generally?
  • Have there been any observable, recent behavior changes? Odd behaviors or performance changes?

The key here is to trust your instincts.  Seasoned HR professionals generally know to trust their instincts or “gut feelings.”  When you have that uneasy feeling, consult an informed and neutral third-party – perhaps an HR colleague to see if he/she shares the concerns.

Part 3 in this series will cover the planning for an intervention, next.

(c) copyright BCSPublishing 2012 all rights reserved

Part 1: HR Principles Guiding Workplace Violence Prevention

Workplace shootings covered in the news remind human resource professionals that monitoring potential violence and unsafe behavior in the workplace is crucial. Planning for any performance intervention or termination conference must include an evaluation of the risk for dangerous behavior. This article includes a comprehensive series of questions to support such an evaluation.

Introduction

Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, states that employers have a duty to protect employees from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious harm to employees. Emotionally unsafe employees often react strongly to negative information or changes in the workplace. Physical harm to human resource staff, supervisors or company employees are an immediate consequence but there are long-term human effects such as: emotional toll – grieving employees, trauma for those who witness violence. Finally, the business will suffer as folks struggle to regain some form of normalcy.

24-hour factor

When employees are counseled about poor performance or turned down for a position, they may not act out at first. There may be an apparent honey-moon period in which the unsafe employee is unable to respond at first, followed by a strong reaction that builds as the reality of the situation becomes clear days later. I call this the “24 hour” factor.

Attorneys and security can help

Workplace violence prevention strategies can help to manage the risks associated with unsafe, unstable employees. The greatest point of risk is during or after an intervention aimed some negative situation: poor performance, being passed over, or probation and termination. Human Resource professionals often have feelings of apprehension during this preparation. They consult their attorney on the HR legalities and make plans that involve security personnel or the police. Attorney’s can comment on the legality of an employer’s action and the likelihood that an employee action might be successful in court. The police can contain certain situations once erupted, but neither may be able to assess the psychological potential for violence in advance. Sometimes visible security dampens the risk of violence.  In some cases, a visible police or security presence may actually incite a greater reaction. A good assessment of psychologically-based risk and sound intervention planning can make a significant difference in the outcome. Using information that management and HR already possess regarding the individual’s behavior in some or all of the following areas can yield a psychological profile that can inform successful planning.

 HIPAA vs Assessing the risk

When consulted on potentially violent employees, questions arise about private/medical matters that employers are charged with protecting – has the employee been diagnosed mental illness or medical condition that might alter mood? Does the employee take a medication that alters mood? Often this information is familiar to coworkers.  If the employer is unaware of these employee mental health issues, you move to observable behavior and other employee disclosures. Has the employee had violent outbursts, over-reacted to minor issues, broken tools, etc? Does the employee talk about violence in their home?

Workplace safety goals:

The following are the ultimate goals of violence prevention policies

  • Keeping company employees safe from aggression, threats of violence and assault;
  • Keeping company property safe from damage or theft and company operations safe from sabotage; and
  • Keeping an employee safe from self-harm at work or immediately after HR action
  • Keeping the community safe when you suspect imminent harm to people outside the company.

Guiding principles for violence prevention policies

It is important to know what ethical principles should guide decision-making in this kind of situation. Here are some examples:

  • Prevention of violent or unsafe incidents at work is a priority;
  • Company responses must be legal, ethical, professional and respectful;
  • Employees must be treated equally with respect to mental illness so attention must be focused on employee performance measures and observable behavior;
  • Responses must be consistent with company policies;
  • Company employees must be free from abuse, intimidation and physical harm at work;
  • Continuous, smooth and orderly business operations must be maintained;
  • Employee relations for the unit, peers and supervisor is important;
  • Planning and approach should consider professional risk assessment when there is a history of violence, threat of violence, discussion of firearms or presence of a chronic mental illness.

Companies can always add safety measures to written policies as long as they are focused on legitimate safety issues at hand and do not disproportionately affect a protected class. Some policies that might contain references to potentially violent conduct in the workplace:

  • Employee Termination
  • Medical Benefits
  • Conditions for Continued Employment
  • Progressive Discipline
  • Workplace Violence
  • Workplace Harassment
  • Performance Management and Feedback
  • Employee Requests for Disability Accommodations

Part 2: Checklist for planning interventions – coming next.

(c) Copyright BCSPublishing 2012 All rights reserved

HR: Sorting out Business Mistakes – Employees and Customers

 

When you make a mistake at work, do you obsess and then over-react?  Maybe you blame others around you. I tend to think about it over a 24 hour period and then usually let it go. I rarely blame others and try to go easy on myself about whatever I contributed to the error or problem.  This is partly because of my age and experience and partly due to some great advice I got as a young executive in my first management job.

How you must respond to mess-ups in a business-sense depends upon the interaction of two important factors.

  1. Relative size of the mistake
  2. Relative visibility of the mistake to the outside world

Size of the mistake

Calculating the size of a mistake involves a common sense evaluation of right and wrong, ethics, and legality. A breach of confidentiality is generally a pretty serious mistake. It is wrong and potentially illegal.  If there is a breach involving employee social security numbers, checking account numbers or dates of birth,  it’s very serious.  This error can aid criminals in identity theft and fraud. When something is wrong, illegal, and/or unethical, it’s a serious mistake.

A much more minor error might be if a management list of business issues goes to one extra manager who was not supposed to be on a distribution list.  Damage control involves having a chat with that one manager. Another minor issue might be an easily corrected math error. Again, correct the error and move on.

Mistakes involving one or two work units are minor.  Errors involving the entire company, the company’s most well-know brands and significant numbers of customers will be greater and much more complicated to fix.

The “external judgment” factor

When it’s easy for a casual observer to see how a mistake might be made this is generally a lesser issue than when a company fails to install obvious procedural checks and balances. Most people expect companies to know obvious risks and to do something to prevent obvious errors – such as confidentiality breaches.

Error Frequency

Remember when Netflix failed to anticipate understandable customer push back regarding rates after their failed price increase in September 2011.  This was a fairly obvious error that might have been discovered/anticipated by market research.  Everyone assumes a large company has resources to conduct research and knows it’s important. Then, weeks later, the company made another mistake by separating it’s movie business into two brands. This decision was later reversed. They failed to anticipate a considerable backlash to a price increase and then made things worse by having no comprehensive and well-thought out response. Too much reactive decision-making.

The greater the error, the greater the need for a thoughtful plan to control the damage, create a new plan and amend procedures to prevent this type of error in the future.

Visibility of the mistake

Visibility refers to employees, customers and sometimes to regulators. Mistakes can have low visibility – a few employees got an internal memo they shouldn’t have; or high visibility – a damaging internal memo is leaked to several external clients. The greater the number of individuals outside  an organization who become aware of the mistake, the greater the need for external damage control. External damage control can often lead to media exposure. Once media exposure is involved, a very small mistake can take on global proportions.

Here’s a simple guide:

  • Small mistake, low visibility – speak to the people involved, change procedures and move on.
  • Small mistake, high visibility – notify those involved, change the procedures and prepare for media response
  • Large mistake, low visibility – speak to the people involved, change procedures and consider performance couselings for those who are most responsible for the problem.
  • Large mistake, high visibility – conduct an investigation, prepare two responses for the people involved and then the media. Step carefully because your response will be scrutinized. Be deliberate, respectful and fair.

Mistakes can lead to deeper relationships

Mistakes create opportunities to improve the company and help employees grow in their performance and skill. If the mistake involves customers, they remember what you did in the face of adversity.  Did you overreact and blame them or your employees? Did you fail to admit what happened? Most importantly, Did you disclose mistake’s source or cause and fix it? Customers will understand if you come clean and make it right. Think about the “Tylenol tampering” scandal of 1982 in which Johnson & Johnson took a well-reasoned and honest approach and suffered little long-term damage as a result.

Don’t berate employees

I have seen colossal over-reactions that caused more damage that the original error. Try to stay calm and remember that employees generally want to do their best. The most common source of errors is confusing or inadequate communication. Empathize with employees and hold people accountable only after a good investigation of what went wrong. Don’t be too heavy-handed – make the consequence fit the nature and degree of the problem. And, if your initial reaction was wrong, go back and make amends correcting things you said or did in a reactive mode. Employees will forgive this as well.

An ounce of prevention

Preventing mistakes is so much easier than “un-ringing a bell.” The moral of this story is to pay attention to operational issues. Set up procedures with reasonable checks and balances; train employees in the basics of their jobs; and guide them to have an eye out for the most likely problems that will lead to embarrassment or worst – illegal activities. Be clear in your communication with them on all matters. Then follow a deliberate process to handle mistakes as they arise.

(c) BCSPublishing 2012 all rights reserved

 

Ten Management Tips to Put Your HR Attorney Out of Business!

Not listening to employee complaints or failing to act decisively will lead to disgruntled employees over time. Disgruntled employees are the ones who sue.  Though most employment-related legal issues are avoidable many companies never work on prevention.  They stay in reaction mode.  Unfortunately, once you are sued by an employee, other employees are more likely to consider this option.

.No company can achieve all of these preventive strategies perfectly.  My advice is to decide where your worst weaknesses are, and work on those. Then establish long-term goals to address the others over time. If you are struggling to develop an HR strategic plan, some of these strategies might make sense for you.

These Ten Management Tips will help you minimize successful employee lawsuits

  1. Establish a code of ethics & define positive culture –  include examples of wanted (collaboration) and unwanted (disrespectful) work approaches.
  2. Ensure that all employees know, understand and follow sensible policies,
  3. Define each position/job as more than just the tasks – include end results and work approach.
  4. Treat each hire as an opportunity to build on your positive culture – screen for technical skills, desired work approach and fit with company values and philosophies.
  5. Evaluate performance for all aspects of the position – tasks, end results and work approach.
  6. Listen carefully to every employee complaint – everyone wants to be heard.
  7. Know what your supervisors are doing – they are by extension, you.
  8. When one employee mistreats you or his/her peers, respond firmly and professionally – don’t overreact but also don’t ignore it.
  9. Treat all employees professionally, respectfully and equitably.
  10. Staff HR with a professional, knowledgeable individual or contract with an attorney and carefully weigh his/her advice.

(c) 2012 BCSPublishing all rights reserved.

Today’s Strategic HR – Supporting the achievement of financial goals

Sound Human Resource management is as essential as financial management in today’s business environment. If employees are distracting each other, unmotivated, ill-trained or worse, ignorant of how their efforts either facilitate or detract from company goals, what’s the point of reporting financials and talking about fiscal responsibility?

Every company job must contribute to the bottom line. For HR this means certain competencies are essential:

  1. Extensive knowledge of the company’s main lines of business;
  2. Knowledge of finance, sales and marketing, efficiency strategies and operations;
  3. Knowledge of organizational strategic planning and setting strategic goals;
  4. Keen understanding of how division/department action plans support strategic goal achievement;
  5. Understanding the variety of talent activities that could support the achievement of company goals; and
  6. Development of HR strategic plans

HR’s mission has evolved 

Over the last 50 years HR’s mission has changed.  Gone are the days of “recruiting qualified candidates” or “training and staff development.”

  • 1960s to 80s – Recruitment, training and record keeping
  • 1980s to 2000 – Uninterrupted supply of qualified, well-trained employees
  • Today – Align comprehensive talent management with the company’s strategic plan to facilitate the achievement of company goals

For more HR mission statements www.missionstatements.com. 

All company strategic goals including purely technical goals such as finance or IT have numerous and related human resource implications. If a strategic goal is to increase company profitability, consider these human resource-related questions:

  1. Do you have the right competencies in the Finance office?
  2. Does the CFO have performance problems?
  3. What drives revenue? Can people make a difference? Which jobs have key influence in financial success?
  4. Are senior leaders held accountable (perf. eval.) for their share of revenue activities?
  5. Does the senior leadership team work collaboratively together toward financial ends?
  6. Do financial reports provide data that accurately reflect progress toward goals so that management can make sound decisions?
  7. Does every employee understand the importance of key financial indicators?
  8. Do senior leaders, supervisors, and front line job descriptions include financial end results?
  9. Does the compensation program reward good performance in finance?
  10. What employee-oriented barriers might interfere with revenue increases?
    • Are the barriers attitude-based (uncooperative, disgruntled or toxic employees)?
    • Are they competency-based? Performance-based?
    • Employee relations-based? Poor engagement, poor management?
    • Employee poor health or stress-related? Absenteeism, presenteeism?
    • Tools and materials-based?

And finally,

11. Does the corporate culture and values reinforce financial stewardship?

Think strategically and good luck!!

(c) BCSPublishing 2012 all rights reserved