A good friend of ours owns a salon/spa with a large staff. There are two team leaders in place; one handles the business administration, and the other handles the front desk and the staff. Lately, there has been trouble in paradise. The staff are in disarray; they are receiving mixed messages from the managers. If they don’t like the message they get from one leader they move on to the next leader to get a better answer. Rather like children who ask their mother for something, get “no” for an answer, so go ask dad and get a “yes”. Very frustrating, and, naturally, chaos reigns!

Tired business woman working in office

This is not an individual story.

We see it happen time and time again. It brings to mind a favourite saying, “A fish stinks from the head down”!

Management begins at the head, not the tail of an organization. If the roles and responsibilities at the top are not clear…it leads to mass confusion!

Confusion at the top of an organization filters down and usually results in performance issues throughout the whole company!!

It is our responsibility to set our service providers up to win.

Business women fighting over the boss attention

Here are some of the reasons that non-performance occurs:

  • Lack of clarity. Managers as well as the employees are not clear on what their responsibilities are or what is expected of them. Without a clear definition of roles and responsibilities, we flounder! (or trout!)
  • They lack the skills, tools, time, or empowerment. You can blame your staff all you like but it is your responsibility to make sure that they have the ability to do the tasks that you have set out for them.
  • Inconsistency! Every task is done differently. Without systems in place to create clarity, every chore will be interpreted differently by every individual.
  • They don’t see the value in what they do. The number one reason employees stop performing is because they don’t believe that they make a difference. Again, it is the responsibility of the management team to develop our staff and create value.
  • Personal issues. Everybody has problems, but, again, it is up to management to establish which problems you will tolerate. For example, you may wish to help with sick kids or parents, but NOT addictions! It is also important for staff to leave the daily dramas at the front door.
  • The wrong person for job. Everyone has skills that they bring to the workplace, and some are better suited for certain tasks than others. We often see great “numbers” people put in charge of staffing issues, or vice versa. Before you let someone go for non-performance, evaluate their skills and see if they might be valuable in another area of your business.
  • Underpaid or underappreciated. Again, awareness from management. Nothing creates resentment than feeling as if you are not being reimbursed for your skills.
  • Promoting over their level of competence. Sometimes we put people in places or expectations of performance that is beyond their capability. We still need the mid-performers, so keep them at the level to which they are comfortable and performing well.
  • They simply don’t want to do it! Every so often you get a lazy, non-compliant, toxic employee who just won’t perform! Unfortunately, they often cause other, better employees to leave because of their toxicity. In this case, fire their a##!!

That’s it! As the commander-in-chief of your business, your first duty today will be to assess your own skills. What are you good at? Recognize that we all have areas where we excel and we all have areas where we need assistance. Analyze where your strengths lie and delegate where you need help.

Just remember, THE BUCK STOPS HERE!

Even in delegating, you are still ultimately responsible for your business. You will need regular reporting from your delegations.

We all need to be held accountable!!