• Maureen O'Toole

Warding Off the Office Energy Vampires

What I’m Thinking About: Employees Who Suck the Joy Out of the Office

A black cloud announces their arrival as they move through the office. The air around them becomes heavy and suffocating. Team members scurry to the bathroom or break room; some hide in cubes. Whining, complaining, gossiping, making unrealistic demands, regularly bringing their personal issues into the professional environment, always looking to offload their work, a sob story for every occasion - the office Energy Vampires strikes!

Why You Might Be Thinking About This: You Have a Stake in This Situation

In the movies, a stake driven into a vampire’s heart saves the day. In the office, you have a stake in changing this situation. Energy Vampires bring negative energy which drains positive energy and fun from the work place. Energy Vampires adversely affect teams, customers and the whole office. Morale decreases, avoidance behavior increases, teamwork is degraded, and trust is eroded. These adverse effects are deadly for business.

Why It’s Worth Thinking About: You Can Scare Away the Office Energy Vampire

The worst thing you can do in this situation is to do nothing. Negative employees will continue to drain the lifeblood out of the workplace. You don’t need a silver bullet or a stake to put an end to negativity.

Here are five suggestions:

  1. Provide constructive criticism to negative employees, identifying specific behaviors and how the behaviors adversely affect others.

  2. Give performance counseling which outlines the destructive behavior and has consequences for continuance.

  3. Deliver professional development training for employees which gives them ways to create a positive culture, including how to deal with negative co-workers.

  4. Make positivity a company culture that is embedded in ways of doing business.

  5. Be prepared to release negative employees who won’t change old ways.

Ready to ward off the Energy Vampire? The Sandbox Group is ready to help you.