Blog with Joel Brookman

5 Ways to Ensure Employees are Working in the Best Interest of the Organization

Recently I brought my family to a nice restaurant where we frequently dine. The food was wonderful as always, but the service on this particular night was atrocious. The waiter was condescending, he was nasty to my children, and he succeeded in putting a damper on what should have been a wonderful evening. On my way out I shared my experience with the manager. He confided in me that they had lost four servers over the past month and out of desperation, had made some bad decisions in bringing their replacements on board. It got me thinking about how critical it is to have the “right” people in a business. The more people you have that are” less than ideal” in their position, the more dysfunctional the business will be. How can you ensure that your people are working in the best interest of the organization?

  1. Hire the right people

The best way to avoid the dysfunctionality that comes with bad employees is to not hire them in the first place. Hiring the wrong person is an expensive proposition. In many businesses a good employee can take 6-12 months before they start making a positive contribution. A bad one can not only never become profitable but could potentially unravel years of goodwill in one moment. They affect customer loyalty, make things difficult for the good employees, and cause their superiors to lose sleep. A robust interview process can eliminate 90% of these problems before they occur. That means conducting multiple interviews, bringing a diverse group of interviewers to meet with your candidate, and performing in-depth background checks. It is time consuming and expensive but worth it.

  1. Train the people you hire

Once you hire the right people. They need direction. Bring them to understand your corporate culture. Show them how to thrive within that culture. Have them shadow people in similar roles to grasp the scope of their responsibilities. Introduce them to the key people for which they will interact. Dedicate time to teaching them what they need to know in order to be successful.

  1. Set expectations up front

Don’t be afraid to come on strong at the beginning. If you notice behavior that does not align with your expectations correct it. When you see the right actions, reinforce them. Instilling good habits early on ensures that you get the output you are looking for the long term. It’s much easier to drive the behavior up front then to try to change it down the road.

  1. Manage problem people out

Once you confirm that you have a bad person, cut bait. In the case of negative people, they have away of destroying the work environment from the inside out. They can cripple moral, create a hostile work environment, and make things more difficult for the people that manage them. If the issue is dishonesty, expect to see it again and realize the stakes might be higher next time. It’s usually easier (from a human resource perspective) to fire people early: lower chance for legal action and lesser disruption to the business overall since that person is not yet entrenched.

  1. Conduct weekly Check ins

The best way to ensure your people are doing what you want them to do is to have regular communication with them. Checking in at least weekly with every direct report keeps you connected with all the aspects of your business. Since you are continually in the loop, you are able to identify challenges and opportunities then adjust accordingly.

We work so hard to build our businesses. A single employee has the power to destroy everything we worked so hard to create. Surround yourself with people that share the collective values of your organization. Once you have the right people, do everything in your power to keep them motivated and happy. Showing appreciation for your best people both verbally and financially will increase the chances that they stay with you for the long term. This alone can mean the difference between a well-run business and a dysfunctional one.

Posted by Joel Brookman in eliminate negativity, expectations drive behavior, hiring, interviewing, Management.


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