Answering the Challenges Businesses Face: Part Two
Picture Monday morning and Joe Employee fails to show up for work…again. Moreover, he doesn’t call to explain his absence. Worst, you just blew a major customer’s trust since “missing Joe” put a significant crimp in production. Why do chronic “no shows” and “no calls” occur? The variety of reasons range from legitimate to loco. But you can manage that spectrum if you are prepared. First, prepare a comprehensive policy that is provided in writing to every employee which covers every form of absenteeism: time-off requests, sick time, family emergencies, unexpected incidents or lateness (like a car accident), military activities, and jury duty. Make certain to include guidelines for handling a policy-abuser who has been informed of what you expect in his/her role. Remember that others observe both the absence of the employee and how management handles the absence. Depending on what your policy contains, disciplinary actions could be the next step. If you are suspicious of abuse, why not call the employee? It’s okay to say, “You didn’t make it in today. Is everything okay? Please call me back and let me know.” What if employee engagement is the problem? This issue can be difficult to assess. Which and how many employees are affected? Is it low morale? Lack of respect? Poor leadership? Dislike for the boss? Whatever the reasons, here are six suggestions to try:
- Help employees play to their strengths. Give them the freedom to do what they do best. When they know the stakes, how they fit into the big picture, they gain a sense of belonging. Clarify “exactly” how they can make the biggest contribution.
- Make sure the boss does not have a “user” mentality. Give credit where credit is due. The boss should never set up an employee as a scapegoat and never play the blame game, as employees will lose respect.
- Forget mediocrity. Foster passion, courage and a “go the extra mile” mentality. If the boss needs training on leadership effectiveness to motivate staff, go for it.
- Avoid confrontation at all costs. Find incentives or ideas that motivate employees to perform. Awards and appreciation programs often help. Every employee deserves and needs to feel appreciated.
- Long-time employees need a way to break the boredom cycle. Consider special projects or cross-training. Lead employees in a way that not only shows you care but that you want to help them do their finest work.
- Be mindful that one sour apple doesn’t spoil the rest. Address bad behavior and poor performance.