We’ve already discussed how the saboteur undermines an organization or cause by starting a cycle of operational drag and harassing and demoralizing their coworkers. But what drives a saboteur? Didn’t he want to work there in the first place? Wasn’t she hired because she was the top of her field?
The number one motivation for sabotage is the promise of personal gain. Frequently, workplace saboteurs believe they are working in the best interest of an organization. Saboteurs think that hoarding information or obstructing your project is in their best interest, or even the best interest of the organization.
Don’t worry, they’re wrong. More importantly, there are ways for you to help them see the light.
Second, Saboteurs, like the rest of us, are encouraged when we feel like we’re part of a community. The SSFM provides subtle tricks for motivating saboteurs by making them feel like “a member of a large, though unseen, group of saboteurs.” This is how entire organizational units can become blighted wastelands of unproductivity. Teams drink the saboteur hater-ade, and boy are they dragging the whole organization down.
Community building can also be the key to containing the saboteurs. As saboteurs realize that there’s a better way, and see that the most effective organizations thrive on collaboration and open flows of information, they’ll come to realize that they are alone in their negativity. At the very least, the negative effects of their motives will begin to reflect on their job performance.
Have you ever worked for a team or office that was dynamic and positive? Did you draw others to your culture? How have you escaped organizational climates that fostered saboteur behaviors?