Are Your Employees Holding You Hostage?

ArragantIf you hire that candidate, I’ll quit!

If you don’t pay me more, I’ll quit!

More than you might think employers cow down to these demanding employees. It’s not just inexperienced managers who fall prey to such threats, it’s well-seasoned, ought to know better, executives as well. Having said that, it is always wise to consider both sides of an argument.

If, in fact, the employee has been treated unfairly, then corrections need to be made. Not only is it the right thing to do, the organization’s reputation is at stake. Former employees talk and if he word “on the street” is that your company is not a good place to work, you will not be able to recruit top level employees.

If the employee has allowed a situation to fester, then he/she also needs to be reprimanded for not coming to you. This is a great mentoring moment. Here the employee learns how to solve problems, speak up, and how to do it in a professional manner. On the other hand, if you’re unapproachable, then you need to take a close look at your leadership style. Employees, more often than not, leave because of a poor boss.

No one is Irreplaceable

Even Apple without Steve Jobs (RIP) seems to be successful. Indeed, there have been cases where a family owned business suffered the loss of several key family members in a plane crash and the business still kept on going. These cases beg the question, “Where is your succession plan when you need it?” All of these situations can present real dilemmas without preparation and planning. Even having someone who could run things at a bare minimum would be better than a total void. This also presents the opportunity for the employee filling the gap to show what he/she can bring to the table. Perhaps this employee has been someone who wasn’t even on the radar for succession, but now shows a lot of promise and can be in consideration for additional responsibilities and training.

I’m Outta Here

Ok, let’s say the employee does offer tender his/her resignation. Here two knee jerk reactions are in contention for occurring.

  1. Blast the Employee: Ohhhoooo how good would that feel? Give this employee the what for…give them a piece of your mind…let ‘em have it. Uh, not a good idea. Remain calm. You never want to look unprofessional, unfair, or leave yourself vulnerable for a lawsuit.
  2. Give in to the Demands: Employees who are good or even great performers with a bad attitude are not a good investment. Yes, it will take time and expense to replace the demanding but solid performer. However, giving in just opens the door for “copy cats” and many more headaches. Bite the bullet and let go.

Here’s an idea, if the employee comes with resignation in hand, accept it. Tell the employee you’d like for him/her to think on it overnight and that you will do the same. However, I would suggest that the employee leave the workplace right after the meeting. Here’s why, employees with bad attitudes are like the plague as they will spread negativity like wildfire. In fact, they may be worse than the plague as the plague was defeated…unfortunately, bad attitudes many times are not curable and they will defeat you long before you defeat them. Don’ let bad attitudes hold you and your organization hostage.

Thank you for reading this blog. If you have questions about employee behaviors, call 404-320-7834, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit

Graphic Credit: Copyright: Kasia Bialasiewicz

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