How to Protect your Office from a Zombie Invasion

October 31, 2012
Posted by Link Staffing Services

How to identify and avoid zombie workers in the officeYou’ve seen them in the movies. You’ve read about them in books. But have you ever seen a real life zombie in your office? You probably have! They’re more common than you’d think. Maybe you’ve seen them:

Showing up to meetings in casual, wrinkled or unkempt clothes.
-  Slouching in their seat during presentations.
-  Wearing headphones during important work announcements.
-  Making barely audible remarks when passing in the hallway or during collaborative meetings.

Ok, so these workers may not be attacking people by the water cooler and sucking out their brains, but their zombie-like attitudes can certainly suck the life from a productive work environment. Why? Because other people in the office­­––though they may never mention it aloud—resent them. Similar behavior emerges. And a dangerous pattern develops in the office.

If your office is small, zombies are even more of a threat, because EVERYONE is exposed. Also, the zombie is going to have more access to your clients and have more of an opportunity to represent your business. And clients can be notably anti-zombie.

The financial risk of bringing a zombie onto your payroll is nothing to laugh at. The costs of hiring and training the zombie, not to mention damage to the office environment could run upward of $25,000. Some experts even suggest it can be as high as $50,000.

Here are some tips on how to avoid a zombie office invasion:

Actually Interview the Candidate
It’s common practice to sell your company during an interview instead of taking the time to get to know the applicant and their skills. Try to have the candidate meet several people in the company. The more access and interaction members of your team have with a prospective employee, the more informed decision you can make about their success at your company.

Temp to Hire
Going through a temp agency to find a candidate is a very smart way to bring someone on board for a permanent position. If someone isn’t working out, you know it’s just temporary and there will be pending relief to a difficult situation. If someone is doing an excellent job, and they’ve proven they can get along with the staff, meet deadlines, etc., then you’ve gotten first-hand confirmation of non-zombie behavior, while avoiding the hiring and interview process altogether.

No Benefit of the Doubt
If someone is clearly not working out at your company, it is common for hiring managers to delay on a decision and give that individual the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re just having trouble learning the new computer system; maybe they’re too shy and haven’t been able to interact with the staff yet. This can go on for months, and meanwhile, the zombie is infecting others. Instead of feeling guilty, act! Spare your team the experience of working with a zombie. The overall feel in your office environment will seem lighter and everyone will be pulling his or her own weight.


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