The success of any business venture rises or falls at the hands of its employees.
Mr Tolu rushed into the office reception area.
Who attended to Mrs Adelaja last week? He panted.
Sheila looked confused. “Mrs Adelaja?” she asked.
Yes, she came in here looking to rent or buy one of our stage props for her event.
"Ohhhh. I spoke to her. She wasn’t sure what she wanted and asked for the different prices which I explained to her" she explained hesitantly.
Tolu continued, "I followed up with her and she complained that the person who attended to her was distracted and didn’t give her satisfactory information so she went elsewhere".
“Oh!” Sheila exclaimed.
Tolu had to positively calm himself. His marketing efforts were been nullified by his receptionist/sales representative.
She just didn’t know how to engage a potential client.
Too many times, he would catch her at desk fiddling with her phone or surfing the internet following the latest news/gossip on blogs.
Her CV showed that she was brilliant but her attitude to work was beginning to cost him more than he could bear.
She had the technical competencies required for the job but she lacked a lot of willpower and emotional intelligence to back it up.
No matter how smart an executive is, he/she may not be able to drive all the moving parts of the business effectively alone and so it’s important to hire the right people.
When companies make hiring decisions, it is almost always “Can this person do the job?”
And even from the first elimination stage, it’s about intelligence quotient. With all the smart test questions designed to test critical thinking skills.
It is sad to find out that some who do well in aptitude test exams have terrible work ethics and as a company owner what is most important to you at the end of the day is productivity and how that impacts on the net profits of the financial year.
Here’s how to spot the top three character traits that can slow down the productivity of your establishment.
Someone Who “Always” Doesn’t Know
When a task is given, especially in a small business with not so many staff, it’s important for everyone to be willing to take on tasks even though they would have to learn on the job.
People who are quick to say “I don’t know” tend to shy away from responsibilities and prefer to let someone else do the job. They are not willing to put in extra time or effort to attempt it, they just don’t know and don’t want to know.
It is a trait you must be wary of.
If they genuinely do not know but they want to learn, that is an easier plate to handle.
They can be trained. And they’d become excellent personalities who would influence their peers positively with time. This is because unskilled and inexperienced employees with excellent attitudes succeed in the long run.
Whereas those who do not know and don’t want to learn are either lazy or dispassionate about the job. And either option is not good for the progress of your company.
Know Too Much and Implement too little
There are these others who feel it is their duty to let others know how much they know about a certain task/job.
Sadly, sometimes they are the more experienced hands in the firm.
They feel they have earned the right to be “Assistant bosses” and can go "scot" free with coasting while others work. They are hardly flexible and responsive to changes to processes.
Always full of talk and no action.
In a meeting, you can expect to hear their voices explain theories and scenarios but hardly will they jump at implementation afterwards.
The effect of this kind of behavior is that it destroys team spirit and breeds an environment of disenchanted workers. Skilled and experienced employees with rotten attitudes fail quickly.
You probably have heard this saying “it’s not my father’s work”, being said as an excuse not to put in the extra effort. Sometimes, work pressures would demand that employees think quickly on their feet, adapt to changing priorities and goals and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.
For example, if a service has to be delivered and a catering outfit needs to quickly send things out, it might mean that the manager can help with the preparations and even loading the truck, just so that the job is delivered on time and to the satisfaction of the client.
Conversely, an accounting staff can hit the shop floor to attend to customers if there’s a rush order or a CEO can man a customer service line during a product crisis.
You get the drift?
All hands on deck.
So when you have a member of staff who insists on doing only what he/she was employed to do even to the detriment of the company’s growth, then you know that it is an area of development that needs to be worked.
There you have it.
Three critical traits to look out for.
What other traits do you think can be a pointer to unproductive individuals in your system? Please leave them in the comments.
PS: This is NOT to instigate a firing action from management. There are deep-dive training programs that you can take your staff through to ensure that they are delivering efficiently and you foster a genuinely happy work environment. Great employees, happy management!
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