Retail Employee Help:
You've Got to Know When to Let Them Go
Here’s some straight talk on problem employees. This bit of advice might not be easy to take, but believe me it can change your professional life!
Do you have a person (or two, or three) in you company who is making life miserable for you, negatively affecting the morale of your staff, and even giving bad customer service?
Maybe they have been working with you for years, maybe they are a relative, or maybe they have specialized knowledge about your business. They think that you don’t have the guts – or the ability – to let them go. They think they can get away with the bad attitude. Someone who is not contributing, doesn’t care, won’t adhere to your set standards, and thinks you won’t do anything about it is “holding you hostage.” As a business owner or manager you CANNOT let this happen. Here is some retail employee help:
DON’T LET ANYONE HOLD YOU HOSTAGE.
It adds enormous frustration and stress to your life, it ruins the morale of those employees in your company who want to do a good job, and ultimately it takes away from the quality of the experience your customers get from your business.
Your challenge is to take the bull by the horns and go toe-to-toe, eyeball-to-eyeball with the guilty party. Make sure they understand that their performance must change. But before you pull that problem employee aside to give them the “shape up or ship out” talk, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I clearly told this person what is expected of them?
- Have I thoroughly trained them to do the job?
- Have they demonstrated they can actually do it?
- Are there any circumstances unrelated to their work that may affect their performance? Marital problems, sickness in the family, financial stresses all can distract from the job at hand.
If you have answered “no” to any of the first three, the burden is on you to give them more training.
If you answered “yes” to the last one, perhaps some short-term patience is what’s needed. A little understanding can go a long ways toward making everything easier for everyone. Be calm, thoughtful, and give your problem employee a fair chance to get back on board.
If, however, you’ve thoroughly trained your employee and they still don’t meet your standards.Their behavior is a question of WILLINGNESS and you need to take action.
It’s not easy or comfortable to discipline your employees. Here are a few reasons why managers and business owners don’t hold their employees accountable for the standards they set. Don’t let them get in your way.
When you are working side by side with people day after day they begin to feel like, well…family. You probably even spend as much (or more!) time with some of your co-workers as you do with your actual family. Not to mention that some of the people working for you might really be family members!
Cool Dude Syndrome
You “cool dudes” probably know who you are. You want everyone to think you are hip and cool. You want everyone to like you. Being part of the gang is more important than getting the job done. Well dudes, get over it. It’s more important to be respected than liked.
I know you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. No one does. I’m not suggesting that you become mean, nasty, and awful – but I do believe that you need to do the things that are best for your business even if it is going to be perceived as mean by an employee. Don’t forget, your job is to generate profits and to continuously improve the strength and value of your company. Your job is not to keep problem employees happy.
Your first action, however, should not be to fire your problem employee, but to begin a progressive process for moving them out the door if they don’t change their ways. And if they don’t change, you MUST replace that person. Don’t give in to your automatic reaction: “I can’t replace her – she’s the only one who can....” or, “I can’t replace him – he’s been with me forever.” Everyone can be replaced!
Remember, your first obligation is to your business and your customers. Anyone who is not contributing in a positive way needs to be replaced with someone who will.
Need more retail employee help? The Staff Development Kit, from The Retail Mastery System includes a 26-page report on the Progressive Disciplinary Process, role playing activities, sample forms, and a video disk. Plus, you get reports on interviewing and hiring to help you avoid problem employees in the first place!
Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,