9 Ways Your Employees Can Hurt Your Business

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Hiring Employees| 9 Ways Your Employees Can Hurt Your BusinessYou’d like to think that everyone you invited into your organization would help your company to do nothing but grow, but alas, what we think and what we get aren’t always in sync. When it comes to your employees, there’s always a chance that they will do something that ends up harming your business. You can limit the chances of this happening by hiring correctly, but there isn’t a foolproof method of hiring excellent employees. It’s always a risk. But just how can your staff cause harm? We take a look at nine ways how below.

Poor Productivity

The act of being present in the office isn’t going to do all that much for your business. It’s what happens when you’re there that counts. Now, you’ll know yourself that there are days when you’re a little more sluggish than normal, and thus get less work done. And your employees will be the same. However, it’s a different story when you have an employee who consistently underperforms. If they’re only working for, say, a couple of hours a day, yet they’re getting paid for 7.5, then that’s a huge waste of funds. There are ways you can boost your employee’s productivity, however — paying them well, giving them interesting work, and all-around making sure they’re engaged with the company.

Bad Atmosphere

Everyone can point to a working bad working environment in their past. The troubling thing about offices is that one person can have such a huge effect. All it takes is one employee to cause trouble and create a bad atmosphere, which will lead to an unhappy and unproductive workforce. Of course, there are days when people are off and not in the cheeriest of moods, but if it’s happening consistently, then it’s an issue that should be addressed. Making sure you have employees who are pleasant is something you can incorporate into your hiring process. Ask about their past work, why they left, and, just at the moment, see how well you can get along with them. It’ll save a lot of trouble later on if you’re reasonably sure they’re friendly souls before inviting them to join the team.

Data Issues

Your employees don’t have to be lazy or rude, or otherwise malicious, to have a negative effect on your company. Sometimes, they can do so without even realizing what they’re doing. Take your data, for instance. Cybercrime involving data is a growing problem for small to medium size businesses, and many of the attacks are a result of employee negligence. A staff member can inadvertently leak sensitive information, or make it easy for outsiders to access the company’s information. One way to combat this threat is to incorporate an identity governance platform into your business. It’ll help ensure that employees only have access to the information and data that they need access to. There’s little need for all workers to have access to all information!

Internal Crime

However, while we should talk about the very real threat of cybercrime, it’s also important to keep in mind that most crime that takes place against a company happens internally. That means that an employee you hire — and pay — to work ends up defrauding your business in some way. One of the best tools against this is to conduct a criminal background check before you offer someone a position within your company. For your present employees, it’s about bridging the gap between trust and monitoring their behavior to ensure they’re not harming your business.

Harming Reputation

Your employees aren’t just there to do a single job for your business. They’re also ambassadors for your brand, and this means they have a lot of potential to boost and harm your brand, especially if they’re customer facing. There are employees who have won a company a lifetime customer because of their polite and helpful nature. On the other hand, there have been employees who have caused a customer to turn their back and never return. If you’re hiring for a position that deals with customers, make sure you’re paying extra attention to their temperament.

Lack of Teamwork

There’s been a shift in the working practices over the past couple of decades, and especially so in the last few years. It used to be that people would more or less work on their own; if everyone did their job well at an individual level, then the whole company would prosper. Now, the emphasis is more on collaboration and teamwork. As such, it’s important that all employees at least have some capacity to work with their fellow colleagues. Group effort only works if everyone’s on board. If there’s one employee making it difficult, they’ll be the weak link in the armor.

Contradictory Actions

There’s another reason why you need to look beyond the skills section on a resume, too: an employee has the capacity to undermine your branding. A company’s branding should be watertight, which means all staff members have to, if not reflect those values, then at least agree with them. An employee who’s at odds with your company mission and branding can undo some of your good work, especially if they’re dealing with the public.

More Work

Employees don’t manage themselves. Depending on the size of your business, you’ll either have an HR team, a third-party company looking after your staff, or you’ll be doing it yourself. Problem employees will require more handling than regular employees, which will ultimately mean that you (or whoever handles employee issues) has to spend more time, energy, and money on keeping them on board, all of which could be better used elsewhere.

Intentional Sabotage

It’s generally a good thing that the internet has given everyone a voice. You’ll see the positive side of this when it comes to your glowing customer reviews. But there’s another side to the internet, too: it gives ex-employees the platform to badmouth your company. There are ways to get these negative comments taken down, but it’s best to simply stay on good terms when they leave.

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