How to deal with a jerk at work

Source: Terry Kosdrosky, Futurity, May 19, 2015

Good coworkers can brighten your day and inspire your work; bad coworkers can crush your spirit.
According to new research, those jerks at work do more than make you feel bad—they drag down the job performance of people who interact with them. …. Spreitzer and colleagues performed two studies at two different companies using network analysis and surveys. In the first, they asked IT employees at an engineering firm to evaluate their relationships with each other. The researchers also looked at each employee’s performance reviews, controlling for prior performance. …. They found that the more a person had to interact with de-energizers, the lower their job performance. In fact, it was associated with the lowest levels of job performance. ….

… Spreitzer suggests several steps that both employees and managers can take to prevent jerks from dragging others down.
Employees can:
● Limit interactions with de-energizers.
● Increase the time you spend with people who make you feel good.
● Make sure your work is meaningful.
Managers can:
Set standards of appropriate behavior and enforce them. “Often these de-energizers are technically very good at what they do, so there’s a tendency by management to indulge them,” Spreitzer says.
Consider behavior when promoting people. High performers in technical areas are often promoted regardless of their effect on other people.
Give employees regular feedback and put a priority on training that involves work culture and professional behavior…..

Destructive De-Energizing Relationships: How Thriving Buffers Their Effect on Performance
Source: Alexandra Gerbasi, Christine L. Porath, Andrew Parker, Gretchen Spreitzer, Rob Cross,
Journal of Applied Psychology, March 23, 2015
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From the abstract:
In this paper, we establish the relationship between de-energizing relationships and individual performance in organizations. To date, the emphasis in social network research has largely been on positive dimensions of relationships despite literature from social psychology revealing the prevalence and detrimental impact of de-energizing relationships. In 2 field studies, we show that de-energizing relationships in organizations are associated with decreased performance. In Study 1, we investigate how de-energizing relationships are related to lower performance using data from 161 people in the information technology (IT) department of an engineering firm. In Study 2, in a sample of 439 management consultants, we consider whether the effects of de-energizing relationships on performance may be moderated by the extent to which an individual has the psychological resource of thriving at work. We find that individuals who are thriving at work are less susceptible to the effects of de-energizing relationships on job performance. We close by discussing implications of this research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)