Well, we don’t actually mean the mythical creatures that live under bridges. You might still picture them as a cartoon figure, and so do we sometimes, but trolls are alive and well and probably working at your company.
Trolls can take many different forms and characteristics, but all of them are employees who create risk for your company.
Some are those chronically negative people who hold a lot of resentment and make sure everyone knows it. They’re quick to criticize others or dismiss any of your attempts to support your employees. They walk around with a black cloud hanging over them and seek out people that they can dump negativity on. Your good employees will probably go to great lengths to avoid the negative trolls, perhaps even to the point of leaving your company.
Other trolls are the ones who’ve been burned before or have seen too much. They’re jaded and unhappy, and they end up rooting for others to fail. That new employee engagement initiative you’re launching? Not going to work, they say. They’ve seen it fail at multiple other companies, and they don’t see the point in even trying.
Then there are the trolls who are looking for an easy paycheck, and not the kind they get every other week just for showing up to work. They’re looking for gaps they can exploit to ultimately file a lawsuit and win big. Or perhaps they’re looking for opportunities to skim money from your company and hope no one notices.
Not all trolls enter your company with malicious intent. Some do, certainly, but others develop into trolls over time or see an opportunity they just can’t pass up and take it.
The worst part about trolls? They’re great at recruiting.
One troll creates another who creates another who creates another. Your top performers get fed up and leave, and the next thing you know, your company is overrun with trolls. And that makes it really difficult to accomplish your goals as a business.
Trolls like to get people on their side early, so they’re waiting to pounce when a new employee joins your team. You might be talking about the great supportive culture you’ve built at your organization, but the trolls will tell them another story. If you leave any gaps between what you say and what you do, the trolls will capitalize on it and tell the others.
Trolls can cause serious damage to your business. As a business owner, you need to be aware of potential trolls and protect your business. The best approach is to prevent them from ever entering your workplace, but if any slip through the cracks, it’s important to take quick action to minimize the damage they cause.
Are you struggling with trolls in your business and want to take back your company? Contact us today for help implementing strategies to eliminate the existing trolls and prevent new ones.