If you’ve got bad employees, you can only blame yourself

It was around 2005 that I decided that I needed someone to join me full time at my business.  I felt like I was burning the candle at both ends, and really needed help.   At the time I had several part time employees, but their help was only a few hours a week.Ben Miller Business Coach

One of my part time employees was a very good friend of mine.  He was intimately involved in helping me with the weekend work that my business did, and I wanted to bring him on for the day-to-day operations.

We sat down and had a “heart to heart” about what I expected and what his job would include.  Or at least, I thought I did.

My great friend turned out to be one of my worst employees.  I can only blame myself.

Over the couple of years he (and others) worked for me, I became more and more frustrated with the quality of their work.  I found myself logging their hours to see if they were really working 40 hours per week.  Days would go by and I wasn’t sure what they had accomplished.

Every issue that I had with my employees can be traced back to me as a leader.  I had no real training on leadership.  Most of the jobs I had growing up were pretty self explanatory and didn’t require real leadership (pizza delivery guy, stocking the shelves at the local grocery store, etc).  The one time I should have had a “leader” in my life was when I taught high school, except there was a definite lack of leadership at the school I worked at.

I never thought to read books on leadership.  I never thought to seek out proven leaders.  I never attended a conference on leadership.  I just thought to myself “I’ve got this.”   I was horribly wrong.

What were my biggest issues with my employees?

  1. They cost me way more money than they brought in.
  2. They worked their job like it was a JOB.  They came to work late, they left early and barely worked while they were there. They hated aspects of their job.
  3. They didn’t get much work done.  Days would go by and all I could think about is how much they were costing me as employees PER DAY.   I would notice that certain jobs wouldn’t get done and I couldn’t figure out why.
  4. They couldn’t do what I wanted them to do.  When I told one of my guys to get on the phone and make some sales calls, nothing happened.
  5. They left me.  Just when I thought we had a good thing going, they turned in their two week notice.

I am personally responsible for every one of the issues listed above…. not my employees. 

Each day next week I’m going to show you how I screwed up each of those five things, and how I changed them in the future.

(If you’re reading this six months from now, well, pretend you can time travel and you want to go back in time to read the five posts.)


Are you a business owner that has struggled with hiring/firing?  I’d love to help!  Contact me today to schedule a business consulting session!  I can also bring this message to your team or group as a business keynote on building a quality team.

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