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A Different View… Employees with bad attitudes!!!

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by Judy M McCutcheon

I’ve just started understanding how LinkedIn works, it is actually a great way to get your business noticed.  However, LinkedIn like so many other social media platforms has some good influencers – people who are experts in their field and know what they are talking about.

Then there are the others, who make you raise more than one eyebrow by sheer virtue of the content they post and their seemingly “good advice.” Personally, I think some of the things they post are merely for the shock factor, and the reactions they get from others. Reminds me of a certain country and a certain president. There is something very troubling about some of those posts. Many of the posts I see are focused on “bashing” employers, that I wonder sometimes if good employers exist. Don’t get me wrong, there are some employers whose culture is so toxic, that you can get sick by just being within breathing space of the environment. However, that’s not all employers and I can assure you that they are more good employers than there are ‘bad” ones.

In my last article, I wrote about toxic work cultures that make a company’s strategy ineffective, this week, however, I am going to address the issue of employees with unhealthy attitudes. Just as there are managers who should not be dealing directly with people, there are employees who ideally, should be working in a back office by themselves. Of course, that’s not the best way to deal with the situation. Companies who are trendsetters, in terms of the best places to work, will develop as a first step or release. Although it is my humble opinion that you cannot train for attitude, especially an attitude of service. So why do companies put up with employees whose attitude does not reflect the values of the company? The ones who just can’t seem to get it quite right as it relates to their work, or those that can’t get along with anybody and it everybody else’s fault. The ones that really fire me up are the ones who are excellent at what they do, they may even be “superstars” in terms of their technical skills, but their attitude stinks. I worked with someone like that and it was very tiring to deal with her rotten attitude all the time. I dealt with it by befriending her and so was able to tell her how her attitude affected the rest of the team and how she was being viewed by senior management. It took her being fired and struggling a bit in a new job to understand that putting technical abilities aside, your attitude helps to decide whether you grow or go.

We live in a society that somehow seems to thrive on incivility, yet we are surprised when it shows up on the job. Employees come from the society that we have created, just look at the state of customer service. Some employees attitude suggests that they don’t care about your customers, forgetting that without customers, their job is at risk. The cost associated with employees whose attitudes are just plain rude is quite high. A recent survey showed that a “superstar” employee adds just about $5,000 to the company’s bottom line, but a toxic employee cost the company around $12,000 per year. They hurt you more than you know.

So why do companies keep these employees around? From my experience, what I have found is that managers fail to document these negative behaviours. Toxic employees could be confrontational, so managers avoid dealing with them until they are utterly frustrated, at which point they want to pass the problem over to human resource, but without proper documentation most times HR hands are tied. What managers must do as a first step in dealing with these types of employees is to communicate to them clearly that their bad attitude will not be tolerated. It is important that you let them know how their negative behaviour is affecting the rest of the team.

An important point of note here is that managers forget that negative behaviour is a performance issue and it should be reflected in their performance review. I’ve heard managers complain bitterly about the attitude of some employees, yet it is not reflected in their annual performance review, some of these employees get the highest score possible. Another thing companies don’t do is to put consequences in place for negative behaviours. It’s very much like dealing with your kids, if there are no consequences to their unacceptable behaviour, then your discipline is going to be ineffective. As a manager, you must decide if you are going to allow one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch. Sometimes the tough decision must be made, and you must fire that employee, but it is important that you follow the company procedure as well as what is required by law.

Ultimately, the contributions made by that talented yet, difficult employee may not be worth the problems they cause, so it is important that you keep the bigger picture in mind.

©All Rights Reserved.

Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company. www.goblueinc.net

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Caribbean & World

Raymond Smith OBE, chief negotiator of Grentel deal dies

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by Linda Straker

  • Chief negotiator to form Grenada Telephone Company and Cable & Wireless into Grentel
  • Served as Grentel’s first chairman
  • Founding member of the Willie Redhead Foundation

Raymond “Ray” Smith who had responsibility for Telecommunications and Health during the interim administration following the collapse of the People’s Revolutionary Government, has died.

Among the first communications engineers in the region, Smith during the late 1980s was the adviser and chief negotiator for the Government of Grenada in the initiative to bring together the business interests of the Grenada Telephone Company, and Cable and Wireless, leading to the establishment of Grentel of which he served as its first chairman. Grentel no longer exists, but it was the parent of what has is now known as FLOW.

He has been described by regional telecommunications experts for innovations in broadcasting engineering. “This includes devising a news form of studio soundproofing using natural material, which was adopted by broadcast operations as far as ways as the Pacific Islands,” said the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) which named Smith into its Hall of Hame in 2017. At the ceremony, he was recognised for his service to the establishment of the CBU in 1970 and steering the union in its early years.

Born in 1930, Ray Smith attended the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) in St George. He received his initial training in basic engineering at the Public Health Engineering Unit in St George’s before migrating to Canada to pursue studies in radio engineering. He pursued night courses in Management and Administration at Sir George Williams College while working in Montreal.

Recruited in Montreal, he returned to Grenada to take up the post of Chief Engineer Windward, Island. Broadcasting Service (WIBS) in 1954, serving until its disbandment in 1971, whereafter, as a consultant in private practice he advised Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent, on the establishment of their own respective local broadcasting service and Corporation. He served training attachments at the BBC and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation according to his biography on the Willie Redhead Foundation (tWRF) of which he was a founding member.

The foundation’s website states that Smith was known as a descendant of James Smith, one of the Scots-Grenadian master builders educated in Edinburgh, who constructed several of the Georgian buildings which grace the historic district of St George’s.

Smith was honoured by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 and awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, (OBE) to be an officer of the Civil Division for Outstanding Service.

Smith and his wife who preceded in death are survived by 2 children.

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Caribbean & World

Ray Smith OBE, chief negotiator of GRENTEL deal dies

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by Linda Straker

  • Chief negotiator to form Grenada Telephone Company, and Cable and Wireless into GRENTEL
  • Served as GRENTEL’S first chairman
  • Founding member of the Willie Redhead Foundation

Raymond “Ray” Smith who had responsibility for Telecommunications and Health during the Interim Administration following the collapse of the People’s Revolutionary Government, has died.

Among the first Communications Engineers in the region, Smith during the late 1980s was the adviser and chief negotiator for the Government of Grenada in the initiative to bring together the business interests of the Grenada Telephone Company, and Cable and Wireless, leading to the establishment of GRENTEL of which he served as its first chairman.

GRENTEL no longer exists, but it was the parent of what has is now known as FLOW.

He has been described by regional telecommunications experts for innovations in broadcasting engineering. “This includes devising a news form of studio soundproofing using natural material, which was adopted by broadcast operations as far as ways as the Pacific Islands,” said the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) which named Smith into its Hall of Hame in 2017. At the ceremony, he was recognised for his service to the establishment of the CBU in 1970 and steering the union in its early years.

Born in 1930, Ray Smith attended the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) in St George’s. He received his initial training in basic engineering at the Public Health Engineering Unit in St George’s before migrating to Canada to pursue studies in radio engineering. He pursued night courses in Management and Administration at Sir George Williams College while working in Montreal.

Recruited in Montreal, he returned to Grenada to take up the post of Chief Engineer Windward, Island. Broadcasting Service (WIBS) in 1954, serving until its disbandment in 1971, whereafter, as a consultant in private practice he advised Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent, on the establishment of their own respective local broadcasting service and Corporation. He served training attachments at the BBC and The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation according to his biography on the Willie Redhead Foundation (tWRF) of which he was a founding member.

The foundation’s website states that Smith was known as a descendant of James Smith, one of the Scots-Grenadian master builders educated in Edinburgh, who constructed several of the Georgian buildings which grace the historic district of St George’s.

Smith was honoured by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 and awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, (OBE) to be an officer of the Civil Division for Outstanding Service.

Smith and his wife who preceded in death are survived by 2 children.

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Caribbean & World

Grenada and other CDB borrowing members getting access to US$140 million

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by Linda Straker

  • Caribbean Development Bank approves US$140 million to tackle economic fallout from Covid-19 pandemic
  • Concern that situation could be exacerbated in near future given hurricane season less than 2 months away

Grenada and other members of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) stand to benefit from US$140 million which the Board of Directors approved for use by the bank’s Borrowing Member Countries to tackle the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and other shocks to their economies.

CDB is often the main partner that several the Borrowing Member Countries rely on for financing, technical assistance and policy advice during crises. “The US$140 million allocation is the first of a package of assistance that CDB is developing to assist our Borrowing Member Countries to cope with Covid-19. Our financing and technical assistance, during this period, will be directed mainly towards the most vulnerable within our societies and give the highest priority to strengthening social safety nets,” stressed CDB President, Dr William Warren Smith. “The economic and social shock of the Covid-19 pandemic will likely be severe in most Caribbean countries. There is the additional concern that the situation could be exacerbated in the near future given our region’s vulnerability to natural disasters, and with the hurricane season less than 2 months away. We, at CDB, stand ready to assist Caribbean countries to alleviate these shocks.”

“Taking into account the high degree of uncertainty, it is expected that at least 1-2% could be shaved off previous estimates of global growth as a result of Covid-19. For the Caribbean Region, as a whole, the impact could be even more profound,” said a news release from the bank.

“The extent of decline of gross domestic product will depend on the duration of the pandemic and the effectiveness of the policy responses by the countries. Our goal is to ensure our Borrowing Member Countries get access to appropriate financing during the Covid-19 pandemic and to be their partner in the post-crisis recovery,” said Dr Smith.

CDB has responded to its Borrowing Member Countries’ need for assistance during this crisis by increasing the limit on its policy-based loans. These loans are designed to respond to exogenous shocks and to support economic growth and poverty reduction through policy reforms. Since the first policy-based loan in 2006, CDB has provided some US$875 million for such loans.

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