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员工消极对抗,老板如何接招?

Katherine Reynolds Lewis 2011年08月15日

消极对抗的员工总是隐藏很深,他们表面惟命是从,实际却消极怠工,或者暗中使绊子,破坏公司的项目。面对这样的员工,有没有解药?

    有时候,这种行为很难被发现,因为它们非常消极,并且隐藏在表面之下。领导力咨询公司戴尔•卡耐基公司(Dale Carnegie & Associates)的董事长兼首席执行官彼得•韩铎建议:“找出是什么在干扰员工。如果整个团队出现了问题,是什么原因?有时候可能就是那些表面惟命是从,但实际却无所作为的员工。”

    或许,老板应该采取“越级会谈”的形式,也就是说,老板直接与问题员工的下属会谈。这种方法使布莱特想起了另外一种情况:他的直接下属当着他的面非常赞同某些工作目标,但之后又会给手下的人优先安排其他任务。他回忆道:“我发现,他阻断了我与他的团队之间的沟通。”

如何根治?

    如果有人有足够的勇气,尝试改造消极对抗的员工,那么,弄清楚造成这种情况的原因非常重要。特里•R•培根表示:“消极对抗的人其实是要试图实现一个目的:要么是在他掌控的局面中获得控制权,要么是为了避免冲突。”特里•R•培根是光辉学院(Korn/Ferry Institute)的驻校学者,其著作包括《权力的要素》(The Elements of Power)与《影响力的要素》(Elements of Influence) 等。

    首先要用温和的方式把冲突或争议公开化。培根建议,如果老板听到员工在背后对自己的点子嗤之以鼻,可以这样说:“当时在会上提出来的时候,我认为这是一个很棒的点子,不过我想知道有没有更好的替代方案。你们对此有什么想法?”

    培根表示:“把问题抛给他们,他们就会明说自己到底为何存在异议。如果依然遇到反抗和拒绝,老板可以说:‘我知道,虽然你当时支持这个想法,但我感觉你还是认为有些不妥。我非常想知道你们真实的想法。’”

    如果老板能让对方意识到出问题了,那代表老板已经成功了一半。接下来,给他们一定的控制权,把他们转变成自己的盟友。培根建议:“不到万不得已,不要发生正面冲突。”

    布莱特建议,要从各个方面给问题员工全力的支持,但与此同时,要观察他们的态度是否发生了转变。如果问题员工在六到八个星期内,依然没有改邪归正,可能只能放弃他了。

    如果有员工在项目中出工不出力,可以在他的团队里安排一名专门负责监督的员工,并且把他们的承诺公布于众。例如,如果有消极对抗的员工允诺会在某个日期之前提供数据,那就在需要这些数据的人面前跟这个员工确认他的承诺。

    培根表示:“像这样,公开与他达成协议,他就很难再有借口逃避。”

   

    Sometimes, you can't spot the behavior because it's so passive and under the surface. "Look for a disturbance in the force," advises Peter Handal, chairman and chief executive of leadership consulting firm Dale Carnegie & Associates. "If this team isn't working right, what's the problem? Sometimes it might be somebody who, on the surface, looks very agreeable but underneath isn't being productive."

    You may need to resort to "skip-level meetings," in which you meet directly with the problem employee's subordinates. This technique alerted Bradt to one situation in which his direct report was agreeing to certain work goals to his face but then telling his staff to work on different priorities. "I found out he was blocking all my communication to his team," he recalls.

Potential treatments

    For the brave souls who try to rehabilitate a passive-aggressive employee, it's important to understand what is driving the behavior. "People who are behaving passive aggressively are trying to do one of two things: Gain control in a situation where they don't have it, or avoid conflict," says Terry R. Bacon, a scholar in residence at the Korn/Ferry Institute and author of The Elements of Power and Elements of Influence.

    The first step is to try to bring the conflict or dispute out into the open, gently. If you hear that someone is pooh-poohing your ideas behind your back, say something like, "When I presented that idea in the meeting, I thought it was a pretty good idea at the time, but I wonder if there would be some alternatives that would be better. What do you think?" Bacon suggests.

    "Try to get them to problem solve so they will tell you what it is they are objecting to," Bacon says. If you still encounter resistance and denial, you could say, "I know you said you supported it, but I got the sense that you were uncomfortable about it in some way. I really would like to understand how you really feel."

    If you can get the other person to acknowledge that there is an issue, you'll have already won half the battle. Next, turn them into an ally for your cause by giving them some measure of control. "Use confrontation as a last resort," Bacon advises.

    Bradt recommends that you give problem employees your full support in every way, but then watch to see whether their attitude turns around. If the individual doesn't declare a change of heart within six to eight weeks, he's probably a lost cause.

    If you have someone who's dragging their feet on projects, add a chaperone to the mix and make public whatever promises they give to get work done. For instance, if a passive aggressive worker promises to get you data by a specific date, confirm that commitment with the employee in front of someone who needs that data.

    "When you make the agreement public like that, it's harder for the person to duck it," Bacon says.

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