Staff Problems Can Hurt Your Business

Dr. Linda Hancock Business Human Resources


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We usually hire staff to help us with a specific area of the business but sometimes the person who we hired is not doing the job or actually is hurting the business in a number of ways.

Your business might be hurt by staff who:

  1. Don't do the job - I have had staff who stated that they were working but then I would find a stack of filing that had been hidden for weeks. Unfortunately, there are people who go to work each day without having any intention of doing what is expected of them. They might claim that they don't know what to do or aren't feeling well, or even state that they are doing other "more important" things. When someone isn't doing their job you need to talk with that person, make sure they know what is expected, find out if they know what to do and then state clearly that you do not want to have to deal with this again. They may actually choose to resign before you have to terminate their employment once they know that they have been "caught".
  2. Make errors repeatedly - Sometimes people are just not skilled or knowledgeable in certain areas but fail to tell you this, thinking that they can learn it without you knowing what is going on. No matter how much you like the person or how apologetic they are about the mistakes you need to seriously consider having them take training, move them into another position or ask them to find another job before your business is damaged.
  3. Treat others in an abusive manner - Mental, emotional and physical abuse is never acceptable from or towards anyone. As a business owner it is up to you to have a policy of zero tolerance and enforce this without exception.
  4. Cause problems amongst the staff - Sometimes unhappy people spread their unhappiness and actually use gossip or negativity to ruin an environment. If you have someone who is doing this in your business, deal with it immediately. Perhaps the troublemaker needs to see a therapist to deal with issues. No matter what the cause of the problem is, they need to hear you say that things need to change.
  5. Break confidentiality - You are responsible for the things that your staff does and if someone breaks confidentiality, they need to be removed from the payroll. Make sure that you have a very clear Confidentiality Agreement that you review with all new staff members and have them sign at hire so that they are fully informed of the expectations and consequences of a breach.
  6. Act inappropriately with clients - Your clients are the source of your income and each person has a group of people who they will tell about a negative experience. You cannot afford to have staff that destroys the business. Give them one chance and then, if it happens again, there is no discussion as they are terminated.

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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