Eric puts off assignments and rushes to complete them at the last minute.
Shirley cannot seem to avoid gossiping about her coworkers.
Ethel does good work most of the time but is prone to silly mistakes.
Horace’s work space is always a wreck.
What to do with employees who behave like this? Coach them up, of course. But how much coaching does it take to cure these missteps?
Here is a reality check—you are more likely to win the lottery than you are to turn these flawed performers into reliable, go-to team players.
By the time you hire employees, most of their behaviors are hard wired. They have heard your lectures from previous employers, former teachers and their friends. You can also bet their parents gave them their best shot.
Who you hire is who you have. You cannot turn iron into gold and you will not likely perfect these prickly behaviors. You may be a good coach but you are not that good.
If problematic employees sabotage your team’s performance, work with human resources to professionally remove them. Perhaps they can find a better fit in another organization. But if the irritating behaviors hover around the nuisance category, get over it. As the comedian Ron White said, “You just can’t fix stupid.”