We all know that employee. The one that shows up late every day. The one that takes hour-long lunches. The one who always has an excuse for why something didn’t get done or why they lost a sale. But sometimes, it’s hard to diagnose and even harder to fix. After all, no one is perfect and everyone has bad days. So how can you truly know who is slacking, and what can you do about it? As the business owner of a contracting company, this could take form in the following visible symptoms…
- Trucks trashed with garbage every night.
- Service tickets filled out poorly or not at all.
- No money collected on repair calls.
- Traffic tickets or accidents.
- Broken inventory and parts.
- Poor quality work below the standards the tech normally has set.
- High absentee rate or showing up late consistently.
- No communication with other team members.
Why It’s Happening
Everybody has eventually faced a personal crisis in their lives. For some, these emotional turning points can manifest itself in bad behavior at work. Sometimes stress, as a result of catastrophic changes in the personal or professional lives of your people, can show up in different ways. For most of us, that reflects the level of quality that goes into our work.
Why to Do About It
Consider confronting the employee in a firm but friendly way. Have a person-to-person private conversation with the employee. As a result of meetings like this, employees have confessed the following to me over the years…
- They are filing for personal bankruptcy or are in great financial debt.
- They are abusing drugs or alcohol and are dependent on them.
- They are unhappy with a company policy or rule.
- They are upset with something you or a co-worker said or did in front of others.
- They are having marital problems.
- They are suffering from depression.
- They are not confident in their abilities or skills.
- And much, much more.
The Path Towards Success
Either way, you cannot allow this type of dysfunction in your organization to exist. Set a goal date with the employee to improve this destructive behavior. Here are the steps to take to move them along the path to success.
- Set a meeting. Let them know you intend to take this date seriously and clarify why you are having this meeting in the first place. Explain the effect that this performance has on the rest of the company, customers, staff and your bottom line.
- Create an improvement plan. Provide a checklist on the specific actions they need to take in order to keep their job. The easiest way to do this is to write down all of the areas of improvement and state the process for improving. For example, if they have been known to leave a customer’s house messy, write down that they need to keep a record of the house before and after each visit.
- Be a mentor. Let them know you are there to listen to them and help them through this challenge and they can count on you. Bring them into the “inner-circle” and let them know you have a policy of leaving no team members behind. However, also let them know that you will not let one member of the team ruin it for the others.
- Track their progress. The best way to do this is to track sales and customer experiences. Try using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software or Field Service Software to see how their improving.
- Reward positive behavior. Surgically remove the negative behavior from your company. Everyone else is looking to you as a leader to do something. Do not react, but respond using your principles and values.
These five simple steps should have your employee performing to the best of their ability, which in turn, will help your entire company stay on the right path.
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