How many times have you heard a business owner complaining about their employees calling them lazy, entitled, sloppy, always late, etc.? Start paying attention if you or someone you know is doing this and you will likely find a pattern. The pattern is that the same people will complain about the same problems in several different employees. What is the common thread between all of these “slackers”? Their boss. I’m not actually a fan of the term “boss” but in this case it is appropriate because the replacement word I use is “leader”, and here the leadership skills are likely lacking which is the problem.
When you see a consistent string of “employee issues”, a good leader will look inward to see what they should be doing differently to lead these employees better. While not all business failures stem from poor leadership, it is often the overlooked component in either a bad employee/employer relationship or ultimately a complete business failure.
For example, if you are having difficulty getting your employees to enter their time into your billing system in a timely manner, examine how you have communicated the benefit to them of doing so. And when your star employee doesn’t enter their time and you let them get away with it because you don’t want to upset them, you set the example that its OK not to do it. This problem is the result of bad leadership, not bad employees.
Look for these types of situations in your business and you may be able to fix some of your long standing “woes” by looking inward and figuring out how to lead the team better instead of blaming them and complaining to your spouse every night over dinner. It may also make family dinner a little more pleasant as well.
Michael Giuffrida from Southington CT has been operating businesses since 1997. He is an experienced entrepreneur in business management, profitable growth, business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology managed services.