It is every manager's worst nightmare to have a deleterious attitude problem in his or her office. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory of being both human and a businessperson. Bad attitude issues are commonplace in today's work environs.
The Way the Workplace Used to Be
Generally speaking, the Depression and World War II generation of workers viewed work and responsibility in a different light than do the majority of people in today's labor force. Most members of that past generation were grateful for just having a job — or jobs, in so many instances. They did what they had to do to support themselves and their families, and it wasn't always easy or pretty work.
An employee's attitude refers to his or her overall thinking process, views, and opinions on all things great and small. An employee's behavior refers to his or her physical actions. Negative attitudes frequently manifest themselves in negative behaviors.
As our country became a more and more affluent nation and society — with yesterday's luxuries becoming today's necessities — the expectations of those in the labor market changed. In essence, today's workers want more and more, as do the companies that employ them. The workplace is also more demanding and less forgiving than ever before because of the extremely competitive circumstances that most businesses find themselves in.
For sure, some outfits misuse their employees by not respecting them in the least as living and breathing human beings. Fortunately, though, increasing numbers of enterprises — in both the private and public sectors — are giving coaching and mentoring a shot and striving to meld individual needs with business needs.
If you determine that it's not humanly possible for you, a coach, to convert a troublesome employee attitude from bad to good, you've got to then insist that the employee concentrate solely on doing his or her job, and leave the poor attitude outside the work environs.
The Bad-Attitude Brigade
But, alas, lurking in the bushes of every business — coached or not — is the bad-attitude brigade. Working alongside an employee with a twisted attitude is something that you will come up against at some point in your coaching career (and probably at many points!). Fear not! You are armed and ready to deal with these personality-related obstructions because you are — and let's all say it together — solution-oriented.
Dinosaur managers are less adequately equipped to positively deal with these disconcerting employee attitudes. In stark contrast with coaches, they react to behavior only — physical actions — and oftentimes this is too late for any positive solution to the problem at hand. In other words, the more traditional managerial approaches often permit attitude problems to grow into disruptive performance problems.