In many mismanaged workplaces, cliques of misguided employees are allowed to run roughshod over established policies and procedures, other staff members, and administrative authority. They’re called rat packs, and they have acquired more authority than they deserve.
They intimidate those who try to raise the bar, adhere to policies, provide outstanding customer service, and report problems to their administrators. They bully, demean, punish, and alienate otherwise top performers who either quit or choose to remain mediocre just to get along. Firmly entrenched rat packs even intimidate their managers.
Here’s how to tell if you have a rat pack:
- You have no team. You might think you have a team, but it’s in name only. They have no hallmarks of a team. Listen to them talk and you won’t hear one word of encouragement, support, assistance, coaching, or kindness. You hear bickering, snarky-ness, and sharp tongues.
- You have no unity. There’s gossip, back-stabbing, interpersonal disputes, framing, and ratting. Those without authority order others around as if they had it. Your best employees go off to cry where nobody will see them.
- You have no quality. Sample rejection, hemolysis, and blood culture contamination rates don’t come down no matter what you do.
- You have no power. When you try to improve the workplace, nobody listens to you, changes their behavior, or implements your orders. You still hold your position as manager, but you’ve allowed your authority to retire.
- You have no standouts. Your best people quit not long after you hire them, but your marginal people stay entrenched. Schools stop sending their students. Other facilities in the area have a steady stream of applicants, but you have a trickle. Everyone knows about your rat-pack but you.
If this defines your work place it’s time to clean your house. Rat packs only attract more rats.