5 Ways To Identify Defensive Employees

defensive employees
During tough times like these, it’s understandable that you’ll batten down the hatches.

Word will get out about overhead savings. Does this mean your employees are more likely to dig their heels in? To strengthen their position in the company?

You want the opposite. To see more flexibility in your staff not less.

Defensive employees can stifle the growth you’re trying to achieve

Here are 5 ways in which defensive employees put themselves before and often to the detriment of the company

1. Sense of Entitlement

Employees into their 50’s & 60’s with a specialism in one industry and long service. They have few if any alternatives beyond your company.

Past a certain age – often the 50’s – they cease to focus on winding up career. Instead they focus on winding down to their pension.

Over reliance will make them feel the company owes them a living.

2. Holding a Grudge

Employees have bills to pay and reasonably can expect pay to increase in line with inflation.

No pay rise may create disgruntled employees feeling hard done by.

3. Don’t Tolerate Hoarders

Every company has defensive employees who never share information. Power comes from the knowledge they have and what others don’t have.

Introduce a transparent company wide business system. Everyone can then see everything which counters this problem.

4. Employees are 55% Efficient

Employees are in a career long marathon and need stamina to pace themselves. As work eats into so much of normal life they need to weave some personal stuff into the working day. And for many, the attraction of a job is more about the office politics and gossip than the work itself.

It’s been measured in a survey by EFM that an office based employee only spends 55% on the job they were employed to do. Contract the work out to an interim and its likely to be nearer 100%.

5. Defensive Employees Blame Others

Part of office politics is to deflect the heat from oneself onto others. This if course assumes there’s something wrong in the first place. I’ve encountered many employees during my career that build their role around doing this.

As a business owner, you’ll be seeking an increasingly flexible approach to find new customers and grow the business. However one of the major obstacles will be defensive employees.

When managing projects to introduce new business systems for clients, I encounter the same resistance. The solution is generally to meet & gather requirements from every single user. Then deliver some early visible improvements and plan to make regular but baby step changes.

Whilst I may be able to see the end solution, the employees cannot & the pathway for them is unclear. I prefer to only show them the next step.

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