How the “Victim” Mentality Kills Employee Morale

Do you want to know how to increase your employee’s morale? Do you want to know how to spot the troublemakers in your staff? Would you like to know the one person who is destroying your team? Well, that’s easy!  Just look for the person who is always the victim.
You know who I’m talking about.  There’s one in every facility. They’re pretty easy to spot; they’re always the victim of some injustice and they’re always talking about it.  This is the person who always says:
THEY won’t give US enough…help…supplies…money…etc.”
THEY always give ME the worst assignment!”
THEY don’t care about US!”
“The STATE would shut this place down if they knew……blah, blah.”
“The Administrator is just doing that because …. he is trying to make a name for himself….because she is racist….because the new DON wants to fire all the old employees…because they want their own crew…etc.”
THEY sit in those offices. THEY don’t know what it’s like for US on the floor.”
“The facility down the road is paying $2.00 more an hour and you get every weekend off!  Why can’t our administration do that for us?”
Do any of these sound familiar?  They should.  This person in your building is the one who keeps things stirred up.
Notice something else?  They always create a division in your team.  They always make it a WE vs. THEM or a THEY vs. US situation.  This “victim” can be in any level of your organization.  They also usually have a following of some size. They’re masters of the divide & conquer strategy.   They prey on new staff members that don’t know to avoid them. Worse yet, is that commonly this troublemaker actually does a decent job on the floor.  So, at times, amazingly they are chosen to train the new recruits.  You frequently see them pulling a new recruit to the side and chatting them up.  You can be sure when you encounter this that they are attempting to create some type of havoc.

Here’s the mistake that most people make.  I’ve seen administrators, Regional HR Directors, and managers at all levels make this mistake.  They think that since they’re making all this trouble and spewing these negative statements, the problem child must be so dissatisfied with their job that they’ll just quit and go somewhere else.  Well, you see, that doesn’t usually happen.  Why? They’re comfortable where they’re at.  Before this person will ever consider going somewhere else, they’ll be sure to run off many of your good employees.  Actually, they are usually one of the last to leave.  That’s why when you go to a new facility, you’ll find that these victims are sometimes some of your longest tenured employees.  Even worse, many times they are the same employees who create bonds with families so they can complain to them!
How to deal with these people?  A direct approach is best.  They need supervision.  They need to be given specific assignments and someone monitoring their progress.  They need to be told directly and in writing that their negative comments will not be tolerated and explain the consequences.  Will you change this employee?  No.  But you have begun the documentation trail that will support their termination if they don’t make a decision themselves to change their ways.
Be sure to get your hands around this problem quickly.  The victim mentality is infectious and spreads quickly.  Don’t allow it in your building if you want a successful team.
Good luck!
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One Response to “How the “Victim” Mentality Kills Employee Morale”

  • Parental Software on

    Good read. Will FWD. 🙂 🙂

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