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Can’t Get Good Help? 5 Tips To Improve Your Chances

Hiring Matters

There is nothing more frustrating than an underperforming employee. Whether he is in a marginal role or he is the key to your operation, an employee who does not live up to your expectations is a drain on the entire organization.

Employees who consistently make mistakes, do not complete their tasks on time, or are in some way disengaged from the work take up more of your time than the rest of the team combined. You end up spending time correcting their work or trying to figure out how to get more out of them. Eventually, they make you mad and every exchange with them becomes adversarial.

If your problem employee is an anomaly, you can probably replace him. But what happens when the replacement turns out to be the same way? What do you do if have more than one disappointing employee?

When I ask disappointed bosses what went wrong with their last employee, these are the typical answers I get:

  • He wasn’t suited to this kind of work.
  • He just didn’t want to work.
  • He never really fit in with the team.
  • He didn’t have the kind of work ethic we need around here.
  • He did well, but then he decided to go to a bigger company.

Other complaints I hear revolve around the quality of today’s workforce or the fact that they are trying to run a sophisticated business in a small, rural, or remote area where skilled employees are scarce. (It is ridiculous to think that you cannot build a solid team in a small town, but that is another article.)

What if wasn’t the employee but you? (It sounds like a bad breakup line, doesn’t it?) Taking responsibility for your part of the employer-employee relationship gives you some control over the outcome. Yes, it is a relationship with some responsibilities on both sides.

By taking your responsibilities seriously, and adjusting your actions accordingly, you can change the “bad luck” you’ve been having with employees. There are some things you can do before you bring in your next employee to improve your chances a better outcome:

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  1. Get Organized
Tighten up the organization around your workplace. You may think that employees prefer to make their own decisions about workflow, but they don’t. And several employees making independent decisions about a collective work product is a recipe for conflict. A workplace with more than three employees and no formal policies or procedures is on the road to chaos. No one wants to work in the chaos that you’ve created, so clean it up before you bring in someone new. Write job descriptions that clearly define the boundaries between positions and establish a reporting hierarchy. Everyone needs a boss, but just one!
  1. Finish the To-Do List
Eliminate the backlog of work before bringing in someone new. Bringing in a new employee may be your answer to the work that is piling up right now, but instead you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Learning a new job is challenging, even under the best circumstances. It can be exceptionally overwhelming to start a new job and be behind on your first day. Clean up your own mess or the mess that was left behind by your last employee, and give your new employee a chance to start fresh.
  1. Document Everything
Document your production cycle, the life cycle of a typical client, and all administrative functions. It may seem like a waste of time to write all of this down, but it will be extremely useful in training your new employee. You will still have to spend time explaining each task and how you would like to have it performed, but your documentation will serve as a reference because no one remembers everything the first time. Documenting your procedures also ensures that every employee is trained to do things the same way. this will eliminate conflict before it has a chance to happen.
  1. Follow the Rules
Be a leader by following. Be sure you are following the same procedures as everyone else in the organization. If you open a new file, for example, you need to do it the same way you have trained your employees to do it. There can be no exceptions to documented procedures due to rank or inabilities. Consistency is important for a quality outcome, and employees will have more respect for a manager who doesn’t get to take shortcuts.
  1. Define and Communicate Expectations
Clearly define your expectations for your new employee. You can start with an inclusive list of tasks for him to perform. Be thorough, and do not expect any work that is not on the list. Then, make your future expectations known, as well. Tell your new employee that you expect him to learn the entire production process, so he can be a manager some day. Or maybe you want him to become an expert in your market and be able to bring in new clients in the future. Unless you spell these things out, he is not going to know what you expect of him, and you will be disappointed.[/message]

You do not have to wait around for that rare rockstar employee to show up at one of your interviews. By making some changes to the way you hire and manage your employees, you can get good help and inspire them to stay and grow with your business.

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2 CONVERSATIONS

  1. You’re right, Aldo. You cannot build a successful career on the backs of others. You have to bring something to the table yourself and take responsibility for improving each day. Maybe there should be a personality test for management. Those with under-developed self-esteem may not ascend to these positions. We all benefit when people are placed in the positions that are appropriate to their skills AND personality.

  2. P Personal Development: cultura della colpa agli altri
    Many researchers talk about “self-serving bias”, that is when things go well it is about themselves, when they go wrong, it’s basically someone else’s fault. The problem arises when in addition to blaming a certain circumstance, people are blamed. And this has a serious effect on relationships, family and career. We tend to blame others because it’s easier because we feel less responsible. You protect your ego. But this behavior can have long-term consequences on one’s life and personality. And spending time on attributing our shortcomings to others or to situations does not help on the path of personal growth. If it’s always all the fault of others, then it means that you do not have control of the situation, the power to change something. We are perceived as narcissistic people and with little empathy, we have difficulty in aspiring to healthy and sincere relationships, we do not inspire trust. In a company, in particular, if the employer tends to discharge the guilt of a bad job on his collaborators, these could but do the same thing with the other colleagues.In conclusion, attributing the fault to others is not what makes a person strong and successful, but that, indeed, puts it in front of its own limit. If we recognize ourself in a person who tends to discharge our own faults, perhaps the time has come to work on ourself and our self-esteem.

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