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Four signs that the loyal employee is hurting your company

Cultural Chemistry blog: Loyalty can hurt the businessBuilding High Performing organizations is all about getting the most out of your employees. We hear often times that employers want loyal employees, but is that really the best for a small organization?  Are loyal employees the only ones that deliver high performance to an organization? As with all strengths, it can become a weakness when there is too much. Here are four signs that your loyal employee is hurting themselves and your company:

  • The employee believes that they are indispensable

We often times see this in supporting roles. Signs can be that someone doesn’t take vacation, or they find it hard to handover certain tasks when help is being offered.

  • The employee is not able to grow in their role

When you are working in a small business watch for this! An employee gets promoted because the position suddenly opens up, and the employee is the next in line. The employee will do anything in their power to
make this role successful, but is lacking the basic skills needed for the role. But as the employee doesn’t want to be a burden to the organization, they will not be able to ask for help. A loyal employee might not want to discuss the struggles as “there is nobody else in the organization”. This employee is not able to work on self-development and will cover up their gaps, by saying “yes, I will arrange it”, or “it is done”, or “don’t worry about it”.  As a manager you believe the employee, as he was doing so well in the past role.

When training is offered, they thank you, but use “time” as an excuse that they cannot attend. The challenge is that this is, in their perception, the truth. Because they are struggling, they are overwhelmed, spend too much time on getting the work done, that they cannot see past the fact that by investing time in training, they will spend less time on the task at hand.

  • The employee doesn’t want to leave the rest of the team hanging

A loyal employee, who is stuck in their career, doesn’t want to leave the organization or his role because he believes will hurt the organization by doing so. Often times they have very specific knowledge, and they know (and are probably right) that if they leave their co-workers will be struggling. They are afraid that they will lose the valuable relationships with their network, because they left.

  • The employee stays a great ambassador for the company

Even though you see the employee is struggling in their role, or has some performance issues, when you ask them to be an ambassador, they will be. This is a good sign, but also a sign for you that the employee is stuck and might need some help to overcome their own challenges.

Now you know how to recognize a loyal employee who is hurting your company, sign up to receive our e-book on improving performance of under performers that will be published in two weeks!

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