Are YOU the People-Problem in Your Business?
Let’s be very clear. Your business is much more than bricks and mortar. The business is not just the systems and tools you use to get things done. Your business is not just the products you have or the services you offer. The biggest success factor of any business is the people, doing the right job at the right time. Assuming this is true, (and I am writing the blog post so we will assume that for now) “WHY do we allow people-problems to go unaddressed?”
At this point I can almost feel you squirming in your seat through the screen. You might be tempted to “stick your head back in the sand” and stop reading this post, but stay with me here. People-problems do not have to be as uncomfortable as first imagined. Take a deep breath and let’s look at the situation. Some of the most common people problems I have run into are:
- A salesperson that doesn’t bring in new business.
- The staff member that likes to bring personal drama to work every day.
- Someone with a poor work ethic.
- The employee that makes a lot of mistakes.
- Someone that resists change.
- The once fabulous team member that has slipped into mediocrity.
These are just a handful of people-problems I have run into over the years. You and I both know this list could extend into eternity. People-problems happen; that is just the reality of the situation. As a business owner it is your job, responsibility and duty to handle them no matter what shape or form they come in.
Let’s now step back and take a look at some of the reasons business owners refuse to deal with people-problems. This list is a select few of what I hear most often
- I’m too busy.
- The person may quit; besides, nobody’s perfect.
- I don’t like conflict.
- He/she will only make excuses and be offended and it won’t work anyway.
- This person has a lot of great traits. I don’t want to be too critical.
- If I ask that person to improve, he/she will want me to improve on my weaknesses too.
Do any of these sound familiar to you? If so, let me be frank. You are making crappy, wussy excuses to not deal with the issues head-on. You know better than that. You have built a business. You have overcome huge obstacles to get where you are today. When you were struggling for your first client, did you make up excuses? NO! YOU GOT IT DONE!
My intent here isn’t to hurt your feelings; I am trying to be constructive. I want to help you help yourself, which in turn will allow you to help your own business.
If you are still here, you probably recognize the value in handling your people-problems. You are probably waiting for me to tell you what to do about it. So here is the simple solution to your problem. (Not that you don’t already know how to do this!)
Schedule a meeting with the employee that has an unresolved people-problem. Right at the onset of this meeting, let them know you are going to have a candid, adult conversation with him or her. Let the person know your intention is not to hurt their feelings but rather give constructive feedback on how they can improve. You want to help that person help himself, which in turn will allow him to be more valuable to your business. (Sound familiar? Go up two paragraphs and read it!)
Now for the tricky part, just give it to them straight. Do not get emotional and do not get off track here. Do not end this meeting until both of you are clear on what the issue is. Finally, clearly identify what actions you are both going to take to help correct it in the future. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Pro tip: it is simple!
There you have it, no more excuses! Don’t be the people-problem in your business. Be the leader you know you can be!