Mistakes made by employees, as well as employers, can cost a business in many ways.
We’re not talking about expecting perfection here. We’re talking about repeated negative behaviors that, left unchecked, can have a profound effect on a business – employee morale, as well as the bottom line.
Consider this quote by Todd Whitaker:
The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.”
Our Human Resources expert, Natalie Remund, shares potentially devastating mistakes made within an organization. She also offers several recommendations to help everyone within the company fulfill their role to the best of their ability.
To recap of the main points of the video:
Employee Mistake: Excessive absenteeism.
Obviously, an employer needs to be flexible about the fact that employees “have lives” outside of their employment. However, it’s impossible to run a business when employees are not reliable.
Solution: Have a policy in place to proactively address absences.
Knowing what’s expected and having it in writing – often in the form of an employee handbook – gets employers and employees on the same page. If this has not been done, or the policy is violated, it’s time to have a conversation with the employee. This leads us to one of the top mistakes employers make…
Employer Mistake: Failure to address performance issues.
Performance issues can include things like absenteeism, as well as the quality or quantity of the employees’ work, and the general attitude of an employee.
Solution: Set clear expectations.
It might be tempting to think that termination would be a logical solution here. Sometimes, however, clear expectations of the job have never been set. Therefore, employees may not even know what standard they are expected to measure up to. This is why it is so important to write good job descriptions.
Another possibility is that you have an employee who is not engaged. Remember: you have the opportunity to coach and develop your employees, so that they can become even better employees! We wrote a blog post about employee engagement that includes many more helpful tips.
Alternatively, some employees are simply disengaged. Unfortunately, these employees can end up costing an organization in many ways, which leads us to…
Employee Mistake: Company theft.
Theft from the company includes not only money, but supplies, property, information, and time.
According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 75% of employees have stolen from their employer at least once. Half of those employees steal repeatedly. Moreover, the Chamber also found that up to 30% of business failures may be the result of employee fraud and abuse. That’s a reason to stop this behavior in its tracks!
Solution: Consult your Employee Handbook.
Review the company’s policy on theft. Additional things to consider are: the nature of the theft, what was taken and the value, and whether this was a first offense or a repeat offense. In some cases, terminating the employee will be justifiable and the best course of action. As always – document, document, document!
Employer Mistake: Lack of leadership.
Manager. Business Owner. Director. CEO. Boss. Having a title does not automatically mean that you are a leader. Characteristics of poor leadership include a lack of confidence, inability to make decisions, failure to recognize and appreciate employees’ successes, and a lack of empathy and concern for employees.
Solution: Take the opportunity to grow as a leader.
If you find yourself identifying with these characteristics more than you’d like to, you are not a failure! A good leader is willing to learn from mistakes. There are so many ways to develop leadership skills – from reading books to taking online courses to hiring an executive coach. Sometimes, a shift in leadership can start by taking a simple action – like recognizing your employees’ contributions. Never underestimate the power of a “thank you” to your employees!
We hope this has been thought-provoking and helpful as you identify ways that you can make your organization stronger. As always, we’re here to help if you have any questions about specific issues within your organization. Get in touch with us here.