3 ½ Reasons Your Employees Stink

Written April 11, 2013

 

So first off, when I say stink, I don’t necessarily mean they smell bad.  Some may, but this is not the kind of stink I’m referring to.

This is the stink as in unproductive.  And it might be worse than the smelly stink.  Because a shower, better laundry soap, stronger toothpaste, etc. can mask a smell.

But the stink of not producing for the company, since this is what you hired them for, is much more costly because when your employees stink… your business will most likely stink (or start to soon).


The Statistics on How Many Employees Actually Stink:

The stats show that 16% of employees really, really stink.  They are the “mis-hires” that from day one couldn’t show up on time, don’t give you a full day’s work for their full day’s pay, cause conflict and morale issues, and have never been (& will never be) productive.  If you have any of these people in your business right now, you need to get rid of them.

Then another 68% of employees might stink sometimes and at other times they don’t.  At People Values, we call these people “Workplace Survivors.”  But you have to realize something… when you can’t depend on someone to produce day to day, week to week or month to month, they are not positively affecting your bottom-line.  Their unpredictable reliability, motivation and effort makes these people stink too.

So, that leaves only 16% of employees (in the typical organization) that don’t stink… and produce 80% of your revenue.  They are the ones you need to “clone” and get more of (learn how to “clone” your best people in this video).

If you have a better hiring success rate of 16%, congratulations!  Though if it’s anywhere near 16% and you’re battling the 80 / 20 dilemma, this month’s issue is for you.

So why do so many employees stink?  Well, we’ve found there are 3 ½ main reasons.  Here they are:


The Half Reason – Maybe 3% of the time

Sometime, through no fault of their own, people just have a personal problem that they need to handle.  Some people can handle these problems well, but many don’t.  And those employees that don’t handle the problems very well, usually make it your problem too.  Right?

Personal problems usually lead to a lack of reliability, motivation and productivity.  And ultimately lead to the employee stinking… and needing to be replaced.

Now, this is only a ½ reason for it doesn’t happen very often that a TOP Performer has a personal problem in their life that they can’t handle.  They may have problems, just most of the time they are able to take care of them without affecting their job performance.

The good majority of the time, those that don’t (or can’t) deal very well with their personal problems, were somewhat stinky performers before.  Perhaps not the really, really stinky ones, but still not the ones you’d clone if you could.


The 3 Reasons 97% of Employees that Stink… Stink

So, the first half a reason an employee would stink was nothing you can control… they simple have some drama in their life that they don’t (or can’t) handle properly and it becomes a work issue.

Now, here’s a preview of what’s to come in the rest of this article:   Try not to get too offended, but the other three reasons your employees stink, is something you do control… and you may just be the cause of the reason your employees (and business) stinks.


Reason 1 – Ineffective Training

One of the secrets of TOP Performing Companies is they put every new hire through a systematized, efficient hiring program to help them master their job.

But the problem is, not a lot of companies have very effective training programs.  There are a number of reasons for ineffective training.

Here is a list of the 5 most common problems with training programs.  The further you get down the list, the more damaging the problem is to your business.  And, also, the more of a chance your employees will stink.

5.  Employees are trained only one way (by reading for example) even though everybody learns different ways (reading, listening, watching, hands-on, etc.)

4.  There is no daily and weekly timeline set and followed to have a new hire trained

3.  New hires who take longer to train or get behind (and will probably always be behind) are allowed to remain an employee rather than be replaced by someone with more potential

2.  The managers assigned to do the training are themselves ineffective and don’t set good examples

1.  The Training System is not in writing… and because of this, it’s NOT a System

Now, here’s the bad news and where it gets personal…

If even one of these is true for your business, your ineffective training system (or lack of a system) is the cause your employees stink.  And the more problems you have above, the more you and your managers are the cause of stinky employees.


Reason 2 – Ineffective Development

Another secret of TOP Performing Companies is they have a performance review with every employee at least once a year.  And the most productive of these companies, have reviews every quarter.

On the other hand, struggling companies don’t have reviews.  And if they do, their reviews are ineffective.

Here is a list of the 5 most common problems with the performance improvement processes of most struggling companies.  And again, the further you get down the list, the more damaging the problem is to your business.  And, also, the more of a chance your employees will stink.

5.  The time together is spent on the negatives and the employee leaves the review even more apathetic and unsatisfied with their job (manager & company)

4.  When suggestions to improve the business are brought up by the employee, managers become defensive or just don’t listen and nothing ever changes

3.  The process is clearly not working but managers continue to use it (without any modifications)

2.  The managers assigned to do the developing are themselves ineffective and should be developed first

1.  The Development System is not in writing… and because of this, it’s NOT a System (sound familiar?)

Now, here’s the bad news and where it gets personal (again)…

If even one of these is true for your business, your ineffective development system (or lack of a system) is the cause your employees stink.  And the more problems above that you have, the more you and your managers are the cause of stinky employees.


Reason 3 – Ineffective Hiring

As a subscriber, I’m sure you knew this was coming.  It’s the theme of many of the articles on this blog…

But it’s also one of the main reasons your employees stink.  Most of them simply should have never been hired in the first place.

So why do you continue to hire people that stink?

Well, I could give you a list as I did above.  But I don’t need to…

I’ll give you just the #1 reason:  You don’t have a system to hire the right people.  And if you do have a system and your employees still stink, your system doesn’t work and needs to be changed.