Whenever I hear a manager talk about personnel in a complaining tone that focuses on their lack of motivation, sloppiness, and all the other shortcomings that managers so frequently speak or or think about, I am reminded of a central fact about business.((1))
The owner or manager of a business controls every employees job description, training, tools, and many other aspects of employees’ jobs. They choose who gets the jobs, who gets promoted, who supervises employees, the time of work and the physical environment. They control the employees co-workers.
Employees bring their native talents, skills and experiences, and their ambition, along with a need to make a living, to work. Everything else is controlled by the employer.
Given these facts, the very first place an owner or manager should look when an employee is not working up to snuff is in the mirror.
Have you provided adequate training? Have you provided the right training? Have you designed the job process effectively? Can employees determine what work meets standards and what does not? What about the tools and equipment? Are they the right ones for the job, are they in good repair, are they readily available?
I don’t need to belabor this further. Owners and managers must take their responsibilities for their employees seriously. Only then can you turn to an employee and complain about their attributes.
- this actually applies to any organization where there is a hierarchy, non-profits, education, government, and more [↩]