We could categories people as "Givers" or "Takers". Let us understand WHAT & HOW they behave :
TAKERS have also been described as toxic, VDP's (Very Draining People) and Energy Vampires, because they actually drain energy from you.
How do they do this? Here is a list of characteristics that can help you spot a TAKER :
1. Drain energy by always complaining.
2. Insecure so they drain energy through various means of trying to get approval - bragging a lot, drawing attention to self.
3. Negative to be around; they are never satisfied.
4. They have ideas, but want someone else to execute it; they rarely take initiative.
5. Rarely say thank you to leaders or others; they just expect the leader or organization to be giving to their needs.
6. Gossip uncontrollably about you or the organization.
By reading above we could easily conclude that Natasha belongs to the category of "Takers".
GIVERS are also takers : they take responsibility for their own life and results instead of blaming others. Being a giver is not a matter of culture, race, nationality, gender or religion. It is a matter of one's character.
1. Take responsibility to develop others : Relationships, experiences/opportunities.
2. Read; look for new ideas that one can adapt and bring into the organization.
3. Listen to others. Engage with them in their life and their issues.
4. Look forward to give encouragement to others.
As an employer we could easily see the support coming her way as a "GIVER" but she was not responding including PIP 3 months (Performance Improvement Plan).
As an HR, by just stating 'Bitter facts of Work Life' does not provide permanent solution. We need to identify personality traits while attracting, developing and retaining talent. Inventory check is critical as a people manager.
For me, there is one more way of looking at the situation. Beyond contact comes connection. To prove my view presenting one excerpt -
A monk of the Ramakrishna Mission was being interviewed by a journalist from New York.
Journalist - "Sir, in your lecture, you told us about Jogajog (contact) & Sanjog (connection). It's really confusing. Can you explain?"
Monk replied - The answer is simple. Today we have contacts but no connection. Connection is between heart and heart…sitting together, sharing meals and caring for each other; touching, shaking hands, having eye contact, spending some time together.
The Monk was none other than Swami Vivekananda.
If the employer could not establish connection with Natasha in 8 years; it is a concern to look at company's vision & mission statement. Below steps could have explored in addition to PIP : -
1. Cross-functional exposure : It seems she was doing the monotonous job and taking frequent leave on account of personal problems; like a child who does not want to go to school to avoid attending the same regular classes. Also, by giving a different assignment with a new team would have engaged her more positively and would have alleviated the biased view where she used to make her look like a victim.
2. Leave policy : Company should re-look at leave policy and strengthen it to avoid frequent absenteeism, and consider HR intervention in terms of counseling or "one to one meeting" or "skip level meeting" to address the issues.
3. "What" you do is less important than "How" you do as per Gallup world's largest employee engagement survey findings : Her behavior issues are possible reasons for bitter personal and professional life experiences. In this scenario, as an old employee, during family day her family could be consulted to handle these sensitive issues together through a professional counselor. It gives assurance to other team members that company go beyond working hours and are truly interested in the progress and continued success of their employees.
4. Health awareness camp : These days HR is no more behaving like the personnel department. Engagement calendar is prepared to cultivate healthy habits and active participation to encourage teamwork. Informal meetings are the best way to know the other side of employee personality. Yoga, meditation, health camps not only diagnosis the health state of employees' but also strengthens the bond. It certainly assures to reduce the chances of bitterness amongst peers' and seniors'.
Finally, these steps always put employer to an advantage and come closer to the "Best place to work" if not "Great Place to work.”