Good Employee, Bad Employee

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A wise woman once told me that the first month with a new babysitter had better be blissful, because it’s all down hill from there.  Then there’s the “honeymoon” period when a couple first falls in love with each other.  No need to explain how that goes much of the time.  Have you hired a new employee who seemed so engaged in the business, thrilled with the opportunity and open to learning and performing the job, only to wonder 30 or 300 days later how you could have been so misled?

Granted there are some really bad fits.  The babysitter who doesn’t like children.  The person of your dreams who has been dating someone else on the side.  The employee who took the job in desperation and has zero interest in the industry.  If the fit is clearly a bad one, end the relationship quickly.

Turns out, however, sometimes the problem turns around and great relationships result.  The babysitter who was so homesick for the first month, her eyes were red and her mouth unsmiling, turned into the best babysitter I ever had.  Proponents for arranged marriages believe love can develop over time.  Should you consider working with the employee who is having trouble to find out if they could shine in your company?

Here are two possible solutions for employees.

1.  The Right Job

Sometimes the problem employee is in the wrong job, and doesn’t know it.  In the right job, they are amazing!

An entrepreneur I know moved the listless store manager out of the store to handle all the online activities from home and the new tasks in her home environment motivated her so much, she beat all the established objectives.  Another entrepreneur moved the bored employee from research and analysis to sales support, and when his talents were applied to the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of the close, sales numbers notched up significantly.

Examine the employee’s strengths as well as their weaknesses.  Could they be a better match somewhere else in the organization?

2.  Feedback Loops

Most employees can’t read minds.  Some of them need feedback, positive or negative, on a regular basis.  Entrepreneurs are pretty busy people and giving feedback is way down on the list after all the other things we do.  Without knowing where they stand, employees can lose their confidence, and without confidence, they can lose motivation.  Make sure you’re giving the employee enough feedback and allowing them time to communicate with you.  With enough encouragement, confidence and motivation, they may be able to take on more of those things on your list of to dos!

All the best!



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