I don’t know many people who enjoy working with crabby co-workers. Attitude is a key element in team chemistry, so my evaluation system allocates a full 25% of the points available to it. I break attitude down to four key elements — the first of which is cooperation with supervision.
An uncooperative employee undercuts your authority with the rest of the team. This doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with every decision you make — only that they disagree in private and in a mature, well reasoned way. While this is not something HR tracks, everyone in your department will know if a co-worker gets away with ignoring instructions or flaunting company policies. You can’t reward that type of behavior.
Another reflection of attitude is an employee’s willingness to work with others, be it in tag teaming a problem, sharing job knowledge, or coaching a new skill. Good teammates deserve credit in the evaluation process.
I have found that buying into a team goal — as opposed to only looking out for your own interests — pays long-term dividends. When experienced people model selfless behavior on the job, the younger folks notice it and try to do likewise. Having a shared goal helps in decision making and reduces conflicts.
Enthusiasm and pride in the workplace are also reflections of attitude. Stories about the great things the team has accomplished in the past, or important innovations the company brought to market, are much preferred to a constant rehashing of past disappointments. Not every employee will be a cheerleader for XYZ Company, but as a supervisor you certainly appreciate having one on your staff.
A final element of attitude is how employees feel about the most important person at any company. No, it isn’t the boss or owner. The one person no company can do without is the customer. If your staff doesn’t understand that, rude customer interactions that reflect poorly on everyone may follow. One employer was fond of the mantra “The sales department isn’t the whole company, but the whole company is the sales department.”
Every employee is capable of making a “customer for life” or an “ex-customer” through the way they conduct themselves. Maximum points are awarded to those who understand how important their contributions can be to customer satisfaction.