Beware of those toxic co-workers

first_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. They bad-mouth you to work colleagues behind your back; they angrily demand the impossible from everyone but themselves; they make unwanted comments about your attire.At some point in our careers, most of us have come across someone known as a “toxic worker,” a colleague or boss whose abrasive style or devious actions can make the workday utterly miserable. Such people hurt morale, stoke conflict in the office, and harm a company’s reputation.But toxic workers aren’t just annoying or unpleasant to be around; they cost firms significantly more money than most of them even realize. According to a new Harvard Business School (HBS) paper, toxic workers are so damaging to the bottom line that avoiding them or rooting them out delivers twice the value to a company that hiring a superstar performer does.While a top 1 percent worker might return $5,303 in cost savings to a company through increased output, avoiding a toxic hire will net an estimated $12,489, the study said. That figure does not include savings from sidestepping litigation, regulatory penalties, or decreased productivity as a result of low morale.“I wanted to look at workers who are harmful to an organization either by damaging the property of the company — theft, stealing, fraud — or other people within the company through bullying, workplace violence, or sexual harassment,” said Dylan Minor. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerDespite their seeming ubiquity, quantifying bad apples is an understudied area.“Most of the work in organization design and human resource management has been focused on what I would say are ‘positive outliers’ — the really top performers,” or star talent, said economist Dylan Minor, a visiting assistant professor of business administration at HBS and the paper’s co-author. “[As] it turns out, we’ve all had personal experiences where we have a worker on the other side of the distribution [who], rather than really helping performance, actually hurt performance in one way or another.”Looking at the existing academic literature on negative performance, Minor said it soon became clear how little is known about who these workers are, where they come from, how productive they are, or what effect they have on organizations and other employees. And because of privacy restrictions, much of that research is based on laboratory results, not real life.The term “toxic” is meant to convey both a person’s ability to cause harm and their propensity to infect others with their bad attitude, said Minor, who is here from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.“I wanted to look at workers who are harmful to an organization either by damaging the property of the company — theft, stealing, fraud — or other people within the company through bullying, workplace violence, or sexual harassment,” he said. “The other reason I chose the term ‘toxic’ is that, as I find in the empirical study, it also tends to spill over — that if you are exposed to these toxic workers, then you become more likely to ultimately be terminated … later on.”Analyzing rarely available employment data on nearly 60,000 workers across 11 companies, the study focused on only the most egregious kinds of toxic behavior: conduct that resulted in a worker’s termination.The data suggests that toxic people drive other employees to leave an organization faster and more frequently, which generates huge turnover and training costs, and they diminish the productivity of everyone around them.Although not part of the study, Minor said client customer surveys indicate that toxic workers “absolutely” tend to damage a firm’s customer service reputation, which has a long-term financial impact that can be difficult to quantify, he said.Who is most likely to be a toxic worker? The research shows three key predictors. First, whether a person has a very high level of “self-regard” or selfishness. Because if such people don’t care about others, they’re not going to worry about how their behavior or attitude affects co-workers.Second, feeling overconfident, which can lead to undue risk-taking. “Imagine you’re going to engage in some misconduct and steal something from your company. If you think the chance that you’re going to get away with it is much greater than it really is, … you’re more likely to engage in that conduct,” said Minor.And lastly, if a person states emphatically that the rules should always be followed no matter what, watch out. “That is kind of counterintuitive. In a simple world, we would just ask someone, ‘Do you always follow the rules?’ And if you do, then of course, you’re not going to ever break them. But I find very strong evidence in my study that those that say ‘Oh no, you should always follow the rules’ — versus those that say ‘Sometimes you have to break the rules to do a good job’ — that the people who say ‘I never break the rules’ are much more likely to be terminated for breaking the rules,” said Minor.Getting rid of toxic workers is often difficult because they’re also more likely to be high performers, or to be perceived as such, which can blunt or blind supervisors to the true depth of their impact on the workplace.“A natural question I get from people is ‘Why would anyone have a toxic worker? That’s crazy!’” said Minor. “But then you realize they’re incredibly productive. And so, it makes sense then that maybe managers would look the other way because they’re really hitting all their productivity numbers.”Rooting out toxic workers not only stops the immediate harm they’ve been causing, but acts as a deterrent for others tempted to go down the same path. “Literally, the worst thing to do is to not do anything, which happens a lot, unfortunately,” Minor said.Hiring decisions that only consider an applicant’s potential upside, or prioritize it over other traits and skills, open the door to toxic workers, said Minor.“Most managers, if you ask them, ‘Do you want to have someone who cares more about others?’ They’d say, ‘Of course, I want that.’ But at the end of the day, most of them aren’t hiring much based on that.”By considering someone’s potential toxicity as well as their productivity, managers might hire employees who don’t look like world-beaters on paper, but will, in the end, bring more value to an organization.Managers and human resource staffers should take a more holistic, multidimensional hiring approach, one that values productivity and corporate citizenship, said Minor, for as the study makes clear, having good people working for you who care about others, and keeping the bad ones out, is not just a nice thing to do, it’s good for business.last_img read more

EnQuest gives up on production re-start at UK fields

first_imgCost-saving measures  In light of recent developments in the oil market, oil and gas company EnQuest has decided not to re-start production at the Heather and Thistle/Deveron fields located offshore the UK. Thistle platform. Source: RMTEnQuest was in October 2019 forced to evacuate workers from its Thistle platform following an inspection relating to a support element on a redundant subsea storage tank. During the same month, a small fire broke out on the Heather platform and two workers were injured. Production at Heather had been shut down for maintenance prior to the incident.EnQuest said in November 2019 that single compressor operations had impacted production at Heather.Production has been shut down at both platforms ever since. EnQuest previously planned to restore production at both platforms in the first half of 2020.In an update on Thursday EnQuest said it had reviewed each of its assets and related spending plans in light of the current lower oil price environment.EnQuest’s updated working assumption is not to re-start production at the Heather and Thistle/Deveron fields. Total combined production from these fields in 2019 was c.6,000 Boepd. At the same time, the company is implementing a material operating cost and capital expenditure reduction program. This action will significantly lower EnQuest’s cost base, with group free cash flow breakeven targeted at c.$38/Boe in 2020 and $35/Boe in 2021, the company explained.For 2020, the company is targeting base operating expenditure savings of c.$150 million, which would lower operating costs by c.30% to c.$375 million.In 2021, the group is targeting unit operating expenditures of c.$15/Boe. These savings are driven primarily by cost savings at Heather and Thistle/Deveron, but also through the removal of non-critical and discretionary operating expenditures and support costs.The company’s 2020 cash capital expenditure is also expected to be reduced by c.$80 million to c.$150 million. The majority of the group’s 2020 program relates to the recently concluded drilling program at Magnus and the two-well program now underway at Kraken, with approximately $50 million of 2020 cash capital expenditure relating to the phasing of cash payments into 2020.The group’s 2021 capital expenditure program is expected to reduce further, although production is also likely to be impacted as a result.The group retains significant liquidity with cash and available facilities of $268.2 million at February 28, 2019.EnQuest Chief Executive, Amjad Bseisu, said: “Over the last few years, EnQuest has made significant progress in strengthening the business with our three world-class assets in Kraken, Magnus and PM8/Seligi, and a materially reduced debt position.“Given the prevailing low oil price environment, we are taking decisive action to reduce operating and capital expenditure in 2020 and beyond, with a view to targeting cash flow breakeven of c.$35/Boe in 2021. While these actions have reduced our production expectations, free cash flow has improved and with no senior credit facility amortizations due in 2020 and long-dated bond maturities, we are positioning ourselves to manage through the current low oil price environment.”It is also worth mentioning that offshore accommodation specialist, Prosafe, has recently been awarded a contract to provide accommodation in support of the redundant subsea tank removal and safe re-habitation of the Thistle Alpha platform in the UK North Sea.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product, or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

North Carolina senior attack Luke Goldstock poses deadly threat to No. 1 Syracuse

first_img Published on April 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 In 2016, Syracuse’s season ended when Maryland’s Matt Rambo torched the Orange for six points. This year, nobody had picked apart the Syracuse defense the way Rambo did — until Luke Goldstock exploded for three goals and three assists two weeks ago. Goldstock, a versatile senior attack in his third year as a starter for North Carolina, led UNC to a near-upset of the top-ranked Orange on April 15.When North Carolina head coach Joe Breschi described his offense, he focuses on Goldstock. His size and strength, ability to use both hands and off-ball skills mixed with an evolving dodging game helps break down and baffle defenses.The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder has scored 11 goals and added seven assists in five career starts against Syracuse. Goldstock is a versatile playmaker — he can camp behind the cage, set up from outside and get out in transition, posing as one of the most potent threats Syracuse has seen in 2017. The No. 4 seed Tar Heels (6-7, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) need a win to get to .500 and enter the NCAA tournament discussion, and Goldstock could bring them a step closer to doing that. He will present a challenge to the No. 1 seed Orange in the ACC semifinal Friday at 6 p.m. in Durham, North Carolina.“He can see things develop before they happen,” Breschi said. “He’s at the center of our schemes.”Syracuse coaches and players say Goldstock’s greatest strength is his lacrosse IQ. He spaces the field such that he puts teammates in dodging spots and shooters in shooting lanes. SU head coach John Desko said he’s “very smart.” Goldstock easily backs out of space and shoots from distance, too.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRegardless, he can score in a variety of ways. His three goals against SU two weeks ago, for example, were nothing alike. His first, also UNC’s first of the game, came on a man-up after back-to-back skip passes. Planted to the right of the goal, Goldstock caught a pass, made a quick move and scored.In the images below, Goldstock camps out to the right of Evan Molloy in goal. He’s left alone for a score two passes later. Courtesy ESPNTwo of Goldstock’s assists came from the behind the cage, where he looks for cutters to the crease on a regular basis. Syracuse’s best defender, Scott Firman, matched up on him early in the game. SU threw a variety of looks on him, including brief matchups with Tyson Bomberry, Cunningham and zone looks. It limited Goldstock’s dodging capabilities, but not those without the ball.“We’d slide and it’d be tough for us to get to the second guy,” Bomberry said. “He’d be wide open.”This season, the Tar Heels have pushed transition more than they have in recent years, SU senior midfielder Nick Mariano said. That’s benefited Goldstock, who can get up and down the field and beat midfielders to spots. When he catches the ball, he doesn’t veer away from contact.“He’s an excellent finisher,” Mariano said.Firman said UNC forced Syracuse to rotate to get favorable matchups. Goldstock’s offensive production didn’t come in the form of dodging. Rather, a lot of what he did came off rapid ball movement and inverts. SU changed its slide package in the second half against UNC, which helped turn a 9-1 Tar Heels run into a 7-1 Syracuse run.North Carolina has dropped four straight to Syracuse since the 2015 ACC tournament. Syracuse, riding a nine-game winning streak, has not lost since Feb. 25 and will look for its third consecutive ACC title. If there’s one guy who could help the Tar Heels shift the tides, it’s Goldstock. Comments Courtesy ESPN His second goal came on a one-on-one fake from behind the cage. He faked a pass right, using the cage to create separation between him and SU defender Marcus Cunningham. He darted left and beat SU goalie Evan Molloy for his second score of the day.“It’s very difficult because if you pay too much attention to him off ball, you leave a hole inside,” Desko said. “If you don’t slide to help out, somebody else can come in and swirl by the goaltender.”His third goal came in transition, off a feed from North Carolina close defender Austin Pifani. Running down the left side, Goldstock caught Pifani’s pass, ran straight to the goal and scored from outside of the crease. Cunningham gambled on the pass and paid the price.Below, Goldstock operates from behind the crease, tying up Cunningham and making a move to the goal. Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more