These days it seems as if there is more and more support for the employee side of our economy. I’ve attended luncheons where the entire topic is hiring people or trying to get hired by someone. It’s fantastic to see such an uprising of support for the workers but as the pendulum swings there is noticeably less attention focused on the struggle businesses face when it comes to hiring.
As I mentioned before, I recently attended a luncheon with a couple of presenters and one of them spoke about the hardships people face while trying to get hired by businesses. While I agreed with her observations on the social awkwardness of an interview and how important it is for a business to keep its employees on target, I found myself feeling increasingly frustrated the longer I listened.
Truth be told, some of my frustration was misplaced and I began to wonder if this presenter had ever actually faced running a small business on their own. It’s not that their ideas are bad, it’s that their ideas are based on a professional world that I feel doesn’t exist. For their formula of employer/employee relationship to work, it would require a world where businesses sit high and secure under a mountain of positive economy and employees are ambitious people looking to not only benefit themselves but sincerely invest their energy into helping a business become more successful.
Unfortunately, according to my own personal experience, this world does not exist. Even more baffling was the fact that my own experience mirrored all of the points this presenter was making, but none of the results they promised would come. In short, we did everything this presenter said a good business should do in order to have productive and happy employees, but our results were only negative.
So what is the answer for business owners who face the same issue? Where are the luncheons with presenters talking about worthless employees who only have one goal: Getting the paycheck?
It’s a harsh statement to make and it tends to offend every person who has ever actually worked hard for a living but the amount of employees who only see dollar signs is too great to be ignored. Regardless of all the other issues businesses face in this economy, these sorts of people can cause irreparable damage to the three most important things between employers and employees: Funds, Trust, and Quality.
Funds: It’s obvious to anyone who has ever run a small business that there is little out there to protect them from dollar sign employees. Once the job is landed and the ink has dried on the paperwork, this employee can easily scrape by with minimal effort, collect a check and rest assured that the business they are draining has its hands tied. What are you going to do, fire them for doing poor work? Unless you have a thing for paying unemployment for months on end, you’re stuck with something worse that mediocrity.
Trust: It takes a lot of trust for a small business to open its doors to employees. After experiencing dollar sign employees, it’s no wonder that these companies view potential employees under a harsh light with an often unwarranted prejudice. Not only do these company leeches hurt the business they are feeding off of, they negatively impact the chances of future potential employees who actually have good work ethic.
Quality: Along with the irrecoverable company funds sunk into these stagnant employees is the even more damaging decline in quality. By quality I mean quality of service and quality of customer care. These employees could care less about the fact that they represent you and when clients are treated poorly or neglected by your employees, they see it not as their fault, but as yours as a business. The worst part is that they aren’t wrong and it IS your fault.
You can’t make someone care and that statement has never been truer than when you look at a business and an apathetic employee. I found myself even more disheartened after that luncheon presentation because their ideas have been my ideas, but after seeing only failure between business and employee, I can’t help but feel that this isn’t the entire answer.
None of what I have written here today should suggest that I think businesses are the golden children who can do no wrong; there are plenty of companies out there who are rotten at the core. For the rest of us, what is the secret?
Is there a proper formula for success between a business and its employees?
What is your personal experience with either an apathetic employee or neglectful employer?