Staff Issues Can Hurt Your Business

Business Ethics


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People are unique and when you have staff you will need to consider that there might be problems because of differing perspectives and behaviours of the individuals involved. There are a number of things that staff can do (or not do) that will hurt your business:

1. Not get along with others - Personalities can clash and sometimes there are people who seem to just like causing trouble. They might gossip, back stab co-workers or have a negative attitude that causes a toxic environment.

2. Not have skills or competence - Sometimes people are in jobs that they are unable to do well because they do not have the skills or ability that is required.

3. Not provide good customer service - When client needs are ignored or not met in a healthy and service-oriented manner, the business suffers.

4. Not respect you or the business - Many staff members will take the cheque of an employer in one hand and talk or act in a negative way at the same time.

5. Not do the job that they have been hired to do - When someone is hired to do a specific job it is reasonable to expect them to do it. Many times, however, a staff member who is bored, has other interests or is unmotivated, will avoid the very things that are expected. At times, they might even become involved in doing the work of other staff members or try to tell the employer how to run the business.

When you have staff problems, as a business person, you need to make sure that you do not avoid them, hoping that they will go away. The best thing is to meet with the employee and have a frank discussion about the issues. Be clear about your expectations and, if the employee states that s/he will make an effort to change, accept that but plan a date when the two of you can meet again to review the progress.

If you feel that the issue is too offensive or the staff member is not able or willing to change, you will likely be best to terminate the relationship immediately. You see, as the owner of the business, you are responsible for what happens in the business. Allowing staff problems to continue will not help you and, in the long run, will likely escalate and cause even more problems in the future.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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