Why do bad employees stay?

Most likely, you have your group of top performers, the employees you’re actively trying to keep on staff because they really drive results in some way. And on the other hand, you likely have others who maybe aren’t working quite so hard. Yet, while you don’t try proactively to keep them on staff, they just seem to hang on. Have you ever wondered why? In many ways, it’s simply because we allow them to.

Common trend in bad employees

For many, it’s very much human nature to take the path of least resistance unless pushed towards an alternate path. It’s like rainwater running down a mountain. The water will choose the path of least resistance to make its way down the hill. Water will not choose to take an uphill path unless an outside force pushes it that way.

With people, we can force an alternate path

Some people are great at maximizing that internal force to take the more difficult path and continue improving their career. These people are likely your top performers that you’re keeping engaged so they stay.

For those who you identify as following the path of least resistance, you may want to start applying external forces to nudge them onto a new path. This could be as simple as setting some goals. Or maybe you have a conversation to ask what they are seeking as a challenge or next step in their career. If you leave them to their own devices, they will likely continue following their easy path.

The worst-case scenario

The employee who mentally quits but stays. This person often becomes a toxin in the office, possibly spoiling those key top performers who generate results. Unfortunately, if it gets to this point, the best solution for everyone involved may be to encourage them to move on to a new employer. It’s not the happiest of solutions, but it does help ensure negativity doesn’t affect or chase away your star performers.