How to Handle Employees Who Are Not Team Players

What do you do with an employee who isn’t a team player? Think of this employee whom you must tell everything, from what needs to be done, how it should be done and yet you still have to stick around to micromanage the entire process? Is such an employee doing your business any good? What do you do with such an employee?

Such an employee is a cancer to your business and you definitely have to find the most appropriate way to cure the disease. As the business owner, you have two practical approaches. You can either keep them and encourage them or simply encourage them but still let them go. The reason why you must act, and act fast for that matter, is because such employees who are stuck in the rag are a bad reflection on both you and your business.

Encouraging Them to Be More Productive

It’s important for you as the employer to understand your employees. Create a warm moment with the non-performing employee to fully establish whether they have some personal challenges that are reflecting badly on their job. In a very honest manner, you can encourage them, share with them your intent and even recommend some materials that can pump them up to deliver. You can share such books as 48 Days To The Work You Love or No More Mondays, both by Dan Miller. There are several other pieces of work that you can share with them in the form of podcasts, videos etc.

Even with all such efforts, you have to be aware of the fact that it’s them to decide whether to change or not.

What to Do When They Don’t Change? Let Them Go

It won’t do you any good if you keep them around when they actually won’t change. The best thing to do is to encourage them and explain to them that maybe your business isn’t the right place for them. Where possible, you can connect them to some recruiting agencies so that they fully understand that it’s not that you just don’t like them, but it’s because your business has some standards that must be met by all employees.

This might be difficult for some employers, but believe you me; it will do your business more good than harm.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hey there folks, Thom Rigsby here from This week we’ve been talking about team related issues.

Today, what do you do with somebody who doesn’t want to be a team player? You probably ran into that problem, I’ve got a couple of words for you, coming up next right here, on 7 Minutes in the Morning.

Hi folks, good morning and welcome. This is 7 Minutes in the Morning, where you can get your daily dose from the business coach, that’s me, my name is Thom Rigsby. I can’t even say my own name this morning. All this week as it turns out, we’ve been talking about your team. We talked, Monday, about culture, we talked about delegating and letting them, empowering them to do their art. What happens when you get somebody on your team, maybe you even
inherited them from a previous owner or bad hiring decision – whatever. You wind up with somebody on your team, who just don’t want to play ball. They are fine…I call it being mired in mediocrity. They’re not going to go above the call of duty, they’re not going to go below, they just want to come in, sit there patiently, wait on you to tell them step for step, word for word what to do, take their pay check and go home.

Those people are like a cancer to your business. They’re not helping you. As I talked about earlier in the week, if you can convey your intent, we need to accomplish this, this and this, before the end of the day, you guys go knock that out. And they got it knocked out, great. But if you have to tell them “Look, I said we have to A B and C. You’ve done A and now you’re sitting on your but, what’re you doing? Go to B.” then they go do it, they’re not helping you. They’re not building your business, and they’re not a positive reflection on you, your work ethic and what you want your business to represent. You really have two choices. One, is you can try and get them out of their rut. Let’s face it, that’s really what’s going on with them; they’re stuck in a rut. For whatever reason, they’ve just decided this is my lot in life, this is what I’m going to have to do and I’m just going to do what I have to do to get by. You can encourage them to get out of that rut. You can share books like 48 Days to the Work You Love or No More Mondays, both by Dyer Miller. You can give them Tony Robbins tape, you can point them to this podcast – let me know -dozens of other podcast, to help encourage them to get out of that rut.

Even when you’re doing that; it’s always important to be open, honest and upfront with them. Just say “Look, you’re kind of performing at this level, I need you to perform at this level, I think you might find some things you can benefit from in these books, in these podcasts. I’d like for you to try and read them, listen to them and improve how you’re performing, how you’re contributing to the team. They’ll say “Oh yeah, sure okay I’ll do that or Yeah, okay, give me the book. At some point, they’re either going to make a change or they’re not. And now as I’ve talked to you many, many times, the first thing that you have to do, in order to make a change, is desire that you want a change. Same thing true to them, they have to decide that they want to change. If they don’t, there’s no use in you putting a lot of time and effort into it.

It brings us to the second option. You can even try the first option, if it doesn’t work out, that brings you up to number two; let them go. Except for circumstances where something has gone grossly wrong, they’ve stolen from you, they’ve damaged your business somehow, they’ve done something obviously wrong – those people you need to let go right away. In a case like this, where they’ve been an employee for some time, it’s not working out, you can build
a lot of positive presence in the community, both the business community and the employee community, by helping them find a job that’s a good fit for them. That does not mean you have to go out and find it yourself. Maybe you hire them a coach, you go and find a recruiter to work with them and you pay for it. Do something to help encourage them to find the right fit, and all along the way, be sure to tell them. Don’t do it and not have a conversation with them. Tell them “Look, you’re not the right fit for this company today, but there is somewhere that is a fit
for you and I want to help you find it.” You’re going to raise your capital with them and you’re going to also, at the same time, even while you’re letting them go, encourage them that they can do better and they can find what they’re looking for. This is probably the third hardest thing for a business owner to do; decide to hire somebody, delegate work to them and then let people go. It’s just a difficult thing to do we’re never really prepared to train for it.

But I hope something that I’ve shared with you today, throughout the week this week, has helped. If it has, I’d love to hear from you, or if I’ve left you with questions, I’d love to answer those for you. You can send me an email, or find me on Twitter at thomrigsby or also on Face book, thomrigsbycoaching and the YouTube channel so you can see the pictures of the lake behind me here at In all of those
cases, remember to spell Thom with an H – its T H O M. Will be back tomorrow, it will be Friday, and I’ll have a last message for you, heading into the weekend. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby, I’m your business coach.