You’re Fired!

Just when I was starting to think there wasn’t one more blog post in me, a City of Winnipeg truck tried to beat a yellow light by making an illegal turn and in the process, cuts off the truck in front of me and blocks traffic in the intersection.

When a team member is in uniform, wearing a name tag, on shift, or driving a branded vehicle they represent your company.  Their behaviour, good or bad, reflects back onto the company.  So what do you do when a team member represents your company poorly? The easy response is “Write them up and warn them of the consequences if they are caught repeating the negative behaviour”.

When a team member doesn’t perform to standard, breaks the rules, or acts badly, the behaviour needs to be addressed.  Turning a blind eye and letting it slide isn’t an option.   But I have heard too many stories of supervisors and managers who jump to the conclusion that the person has a bad attitude, doesn’t care, or is incompetent.  They immediately resort to punitive measures instead of looking for causes or underlying reasons behind the behaviour.

Instead of immediately jumping to the negative, effective supervisors and managers ask the following:

  1. Did I provide the service team member proper training and support on hire?
  2. Am I continuing to provide meaningful feedback on a consistent basis?
  3. What have I done, or not done, to ensure everyone on my team understands the impact they have on our team and the organization?
  4. Are my team members proud to work for this company?

Effective supervisors and managers don’t just ask themselves those questions.  They also ask their team member those questions.  The answers to those questions help create solutions to low employee engagement.

Digging deep takes time, it takes effort and it takes an open mind, but the extra work is worth it. Retraining is less expensive than recruiting and training a new employee.  Helping employees recognize and understand their value increases employee engagement. And, last but not least, engaged employees who are proud of what they do and where they work  don’t do things like run lights and cut their customers off while driving company trucks.