Four employees are doing the same work for a small engineering firm. Two have been there for less than one year, one for less than two years, and Ned has been with the company for almost six years but has been on this project for the last two years and is the "unnamed" leader of the team. The company owner has expressed concerns about time waste and the quality of work in this small group.
Ned has negatively saturated the group's attitude. When the boss gives them their duties and instructions, Ned later tells them they don't have to do it that way, to do it his way, or just go back to the old way.
Ned had been moved to 4 different departments trying to find a place where he fits, but trouble seemed to follow him. This should have been a red flag early in his employment. It could have been a blind spot for both him and his manager. It might have been a case of being overly forgiving and failing to address a problem before it cost both parties.
What is the price for poor morale, productivity, and working relationships? For Ned, it meant being let go because of many issues, including poor productivity and insubordination.
"We expect what we inspect."
When poor production and attitudes go unchecked; what can you expect?
Ned is not a bad person, but it's possible that he didn't receive the proper feedback when he first started working, and even if he did, neither he nor his manager could correct his course. Providing appraisals and coaching is the key to keeping all issues on the front rather than turning a blind eye and letting things build.
Many years ago, when I was employed in the corporate world, I wanted to say nice things about my employees. Sometimes it was only during an annual appraisal that they discovered I was dissatisfied with some aspect of their productivity or performance. [Blind Spot]
Things could have been handled differently earlier in Ned's job. Minor issues can develop into significant problems if addressed later than sooner.
It's crucial to remain involved in successful and unsuccessful daily activities. Ned could have been concerned and stressed dealing with personal, job, or health issues and not sharing these may have contributed to his attitude. [Blind Spot]
Keeping the regular feedback loop going and knowing how we, as employees or managers, are doing is essential for healthy companies. This way, everyone knows the expectation, can make corrections, and there are no surprises. Ned was surprised when he was let go.
Termination is a disaster on both sides, humiliation on the part of the employee with loss of income and benefits, and the company with the expensive loss of a well-trained employee.
Look for the unfinished business upstream before having to take drastic recovery methods.
Are you tolerating substandard performance or behavior?
Are you prolonging the agony?
Watch for the blind spots.
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Blind Spots in Relationships
What I don't know I don't know about Myself
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