You wouldn’t be the first Owner Manager to raise your hand and admit to a to-do list that goes out the door and down the road for miles – and you certainly won’t be the last. When you’re choosing which task to tackle first, you’ll opt for those you deem to have the best impact on your company and your team, the kind of tasks that reward you with a positive feeling for addressing them.

HR legislation probably isn’t one of these tasks. HR legislation is a minefield. Issues don’t always resolve quickly, and well… don’t always make you feel good. Recognising the real impact of a bad employee can be gradual, which is why we leave it too long to tackle and focus on what are seemingly more important and urgent tasks.

Chances are, you’ll be following that to-do list out the door all the while thinking – Is that bad employee really doing any harm?

The answer is yes, they are – and here’s how:

  • Loss of New Business – A bad employee will potentially lose you an amazing new customer because your team are too busy covering their colleagues work to go out and win new business.
  • Loss of Existing Clients – Existing clients are the first to appreciate when service levels have dropped!
  • Loss of Profit – Any costs that impact on overheads is an instant hit to your profit margin. For example, the costs associated with mistakes, and the time spent by your staff in correcting them.
  • Loss of Good employees – At first, your best staff might not be phased, as they know that they’re doing a good job themselves and their good work is duly respected and rewarded. But over time your good employees will feel the impact; added pressure on those who are known to deliver work on time, picking up the slack, firefighting problems, seeing clients they like become disgruntled, or worse leave.

If they see that nothing is being done to solve these issues, your staff might start questioning you as an employer. Are you still a company they want to work for? Will they look for a company that looks like the old you? Worse still, will they too decide to kick back, relax, get lazy – and why shouldn’t they? If there is no fear of being reprimanded.

This could lead to a whole team of disengaged staff. I refer to this as ‘The rot’ – it’s slow, you don’t notice it at first, but by the time you get round to dealing with it, it’s a much bigger problem than it ever needed to be.

Millennials, the generation that will make up the majority of your staff, aren’t motivated by the same factors as their predecessors. They want and need to feel engaged with their job, the company and its values, and the leader guiding them. Great for them, and great for you when growing your business and its profits is made much easier.

In the words of Richard Branson: “If you take care of your employees and put them first; they will take care of your clients”.

Worried you’ve reached ‘The rot’ in your business? Let us know. Our planning meetings with clients aren’t always numbers based.  We act as a sounding board for Owner Managers to help resolve the issues that are holding them back. Give us a call for chat.

*We’ve since written a PART 2 to this post that discusses the correct procedures to go through if you have a troublesome employee. Don’t jump the gun! Read our advice on the next steps here.