His name is David and for the last three years, he has shown up to work 15 minutes late every single day. Her name is Sharon and she has neglected to learn how to use the new inventory software since it was first purchased in 2008. Their co-worker, Brian, refuses to turn in his weekly reports on time.
If you have a leadership role in a company, you have undoubtedly run across a David, Sharon or Brian at some point.
Are you ready for the worst news? It’s probably your fault.
A certain portion of the workforce (about 20 percent) has an innate sense for what these people need to do to make themselves and their company more successful.
Then, there’s everyone else. The majority of these people are honest, hardworking and do whatever it takes to meet expectations. They are an extremely important part of the workforce.
Another interesting characteristic of the 80 percent is, for the most part, these people will do whatever is asked of them. If you ask them to follow up with all outstanding prospects, they will make the calls; they will strive to meet expectations.
There are three reasons why many leaders complain to me it’s hard to find “good employees.” The first, and most often referred to as “the real reason,” is the 80 percent is lazy, doesn’t listen and is not bright enough to add value in today’s complex workforce.It’s my belief most people want to work hard and be successful. I also believe just about every task can be learned and base-level intelligence plays a lesser role than you might think.
The next reason is most leaders do a terrible job of setting clear expectations for their staff.
Finally, most people tend to continue missing expectations because they aren’t held accountable for their behavior.
Interested in getting the most out of your staff? Here’s a simple plan anyone can implement. On Monday morning, sit down with your team and hand out a simple list of the key fundamentals you need them to complete during the week (for a sample, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a template). Next Monday, pull out this same sheet and see what was completed.
As with most things in life, the solution is simple. All you need to do is execute.