NPR had a piece on Deadbeat Dads yesterday (the U.S. Supreme Court is getting involved) as I was slowly coming out of my night’s slumber. I’m a product of divorced parents – they split when I was ten (some of you are now nodding your heads and thinking, “well, that explains a lot.”) Thankfully, my dad was (almost) fully engaged in our rearing; I mean, he wasn’t all that great about taking us to the dentist or dealing with any of the other day-in-day-out crap of corralling kids, but we saw him twice a week without fail, he listened, and supported, and he honored every last cent of his child-support agreement…plus some. He is no deadbeat.
The damage and havoc wreaked by deadbeats in this world is staggering. Hopefully you don’t need this blog post to educate you on this well-established fact. Have you ever thought about, though, the damage caused by deadbeats in your workplace? I’m not talking about deadbeat dads who work for you – that’s another matter. I’m talking about deadbeat employees. They aren’t deadbeat because they don’t show up; they’re deadbeat because they suck the life out of everyone else while they’re there. They aren’t always easy to identify and are even harder to publicly label once found. No one likes to really talk about it; we make excuses for them; we praise their accomplishments and overlook their faults. But they are deadbeats never-the-less.
In my mind, you’re a deadbeat employee if you:
- Don’t show up to company events
- Ignore company-wide communications and external press on your organization
- Fail to give performance feedback and reviews to your employees…on time
- Take little interest in what your employees’ annual goals or long-term aspirations are – professionally and personally
- Have no involvement in recruiting talent to the organization
- Bad mouth your employer in public
- Couldn’t spout off at least one interesting fact about every employee you’ve ever worked with
- Refer to your employer as “the” company rather than “our” company
- Volunteer for nothing
- Refuse to accept employment as a two-way proposition
These things are expensive…to everyone. They impact the productivity, profitability, and all-around cultural fortitude of your organization. Why would you – why do you – stand for that? I honestly don’t care if you’re God’s gift to whatever product you sell or service you deliver. I’ll take inferior skill or intellect over your deadbeat behavior any day of the week. If you have employees like this (and you do) I’d say it’s high time you had a pretty serious conversation with them. If they don’t respond, kick ‘em to the curb cuz that’s about the only place a deadbeat belongs.
Image Credit: pag asa (flickr)