Credit: Bad Employee Image via Shutterstock
Success as a small business owner can come down to any number of factors, but finding the right employees is at the top of that list. Employees have a huge impact on the growth and future success of companies, and finding the right ones can be a big challenge. To help businesses with their choices, here are a few examples of workers that business owners should avoid at all costs.
The [Edward] Snowden
It doesn't matter if your employees are leaking national security secrets or other confidential company information, all companies need to avoid employees with loose lips. All organizations, whether they are in a traditional business setting or in other competitive arenas like a sports team, thrive with confidentiality. Not only does confidentiality keep secrets and sensitive information from getting out to the public, but, more important, it presents a unified front for businesses.
Anyone needing proof of this should look no further than defense contractor Booze Allen Hamilton and former employee Edward Snowden. Booze Allen stock dropped in the days after news of information leaks were made public. The stock has since rebounded, but the drop was a reaction to the fact that the company looked as if it was disunited and disorganized.
The [Aaron] Hernandez
Companies never want to have to worry about waking up to find the actions of an employee posted all over the Internet or the back pages of a newspaper. Take, for example, the case of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez who is now accused of first-degree murder. The Patriots have handled the situation very well, cutting Hernandez immediately after he was arrested and offering a buy-back program for his old jerseys. Despite that, the organization still has been targeted by many in the media for drafting Hernandez in the first place.
Companies looking to avoid having to deal with employees who create an embarrassment for the organization should focus on finding employees who closely align with their fundamental values and founding principles. Though it is impossible to predict what people will do in a given situation, companies can attempt to avoid a big black eye by taking those steps in the hiring process.
The [Paula] Deen
Employees oftentimes spend more time with their co-workers than they do their own families. To make that relationship work, companies cannot have workers who look down on others in their ranks. Celebrity chef Paula Deen has experienced firsthand just how badly intolerance can affect a business. Deen has seen companies drop her as a spokeswoman and retailers pull her merchandise from the shelves after her admission in a deposition for a lawsuit that she had used racial slurs in the past.
Companies may not be able to find those things out from the interview process, but they should be sure to react swiftly and decisively whenever allegations are made against other workers. If companies do not react when issues are brought to their attention the situation will only get worse.
The [Kanye] West
Successful business teams are at their best when members work together and are not simply out for themselves. In short, work teams rely on the ability to have individual talents shine through while working toward a common goal. Attention hounds go against that. For example, imagine how Kanye West would do in a business setting. West has been in the news many times for outlandish and boisterous statements. Recently, he has added to that reputation with a series of interviews promoting his new album "Yeezus," notably saying that he is "a god."
Since work teams must function as a singular unit working toward a common goal, having one member constantly talk about his or her actions would hurt the team in a big way. Managing employees requires a great deal of care and individualized attention, but the manager would be best suited by avoiding employees who are not team players.
The [Alec] Baldwin
Workers with a bad temper can present a big challenge not only to managers but to their fellow employees as well. Not only do those workers cause a testy work relationship, but they also create a dangerous work environment and numerous safety concerns. Alec Baldwin has highlighted some of the challenges associated with ill-tempered employees in recent weeks. Baldwin, who has had numerous run-ins with the media and paparazzi in recent years, has made headlines using a gay slur when talking about a reporter. Those actions have prompted people to call for Capital One bank to drop Baldwin as a spokesman.
Though the average worker is not a recognizable spokesperson for the company, his or her actions have a huge impact on the culture of a company. Once again, companies can attempt to avoid hiring workers with bad tempers, but they should react immediately when and if problems arise.