In extreme cases, an employee who is disgruntled due to exclusion may purposely sabotage projects, harass coworkers, steal from the company and, at their worst, threaten or become violent. Less extreme cases are also destructive and have a negative impact on the company due to poor morale or the undermining of productivity.
At some point, an employee may feel “disconnected” from their work and that can lead to feelings of being undervalued, being mistreated, or being disliked by a supervisor and/or coworkers. Often, this results in a mentality of “the company owes me” or other entitlement whereby the employee may lie on an expense report. An excluded employee may also falsify progress reports or other documents to try to make himself or herself look better and deflect any criticisms.
A good and alert HR person or department should quickly correct this behavior by adding the important components of engagement, inspiration, and respect. If employees feel valued, then they are more likely to view where they work as “our company” versus “the company.”
An article in Human Resource Executive Online titled, Beware the Excluded Employee, states that this relatively minor semantic difference is important. Employees who do negative or unethical things in the office usually rationalize their actions and convince themselves that it’s okay. The article calls these people “injustice collectors” due to their feelings of entitlement. A favorite phrase of these employees is “it’s not fair.”
Sometimes, a person’s natural behavior and personality will make others go out of their way to avoid them. These employees may be narcissistic or anti-social and being excluded will only magnify their negativity toward their workplace.
Unfortunately, in today’s global workforce, the HR department’s ability to achieve employee engagement can be hampered by diverse cultural needs, perspectives and expectations. This is a major challenge to overcome, yet a rewarding one in terms of creating conditions where employees not only appreciate each other, but learn from one another.