Employee management 101; look for patterns, not excuses!

Posted Wednesday, December 24, 2014

From an employer’s perspective, it is important to hire people who will produce for your business. You’re going to find a lot of employees that come up with excellent reasons as to why they were unable to accomplish a task. What I suggest new employers, managers, & business owners do is avoid judging excuses on their merit.

Hre’s the thing about excuses; they often make sense. Most employees we hire aren’t stupid, but even the ones who are dumb as a rock are crafty enough to come up with plausible sounding reasons for why something is not possible given the current circumstances, or why it should be fair that they be late everyday.

The problem that many employers have is that we do not know how to perform the tasks that the people working under us know how to do. The CEO of a company may know what the effects of good or bad marketing are, but he doesn’t know how to do the marketing. He may have no idea how the engineering department works, but he knows if he hears constant complaints about bugs in new products that they have fallen short somewhere. The CEO doesn’t have to actually know how to engineer the product or how to market it to understand if the people who are supposed to be performing these tasks aren’t doing their job.

Can you imagine how much more difficult it is to gauge whether an excuse makes sense when management doesn’t even understand how to do what you do?

What’s important is to realize patterns. Is this specific failure or shortcoming this employee has something that happens on a regular basis? Take excuses out of the equation and simply look at track record over time. If you don’t believe you have enough time, then give them more time – just make sure it’s in your financial budget to pay them to find out if there is a pattern.

If it’s something that happens rarely or never, even if the excuse is ridiculous, be understanding. However, if one individual has a consistent track record of failure, and you know the excuses are BS; you should act accordingly.