How Much Money is Poor Morale Costing Your Company?

As a business owner I’ve had staff come and go over the years. Some have done extremely well and others not so well.

During the time I was directly involved in running my business I found some weaknesses in myself that tremendously affected things that were going on.

It was not uncommon for me, whenever something was not going well, to ignore it. Sometimes I would hope it would go away or I might ask somebody else to solve it for me, whatever was going on.

As time went on I started to actually think negative thoughts about a certain staff member or staff members that I had difficulties communicating to. I would have thoughts that perhaps they should move on – why don’t they just quit?

If I wasn’t happy somewhere I would just quit. Why won’t they? As time went on these people would usually just end up leaving or I would be forced to fire them.

As I learned more about how to better run my business I realized that nearly every one of these situations of the unfortunate firing or the employee quitting directly pointed back to my inability to communicate.

Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t as though I was completely and utterly responsible for what other staff members were doing that led to their termination, but prior to things getting so bad that somebody needed to be fired, I needed to act and did not.

As an example, let’s say that a staff member walks in 20 minutes late for work. As he walks in the door you glance in his direction. He now knows you know that he is late. But yet you don’t say anything about it. Let’s say it happens again the very next day and you notice it again. You see him coming in, and he doesn’t say anything and you don’t say anything either. After a while don’t you think that employee will think it is acceptable to come in 20 minutes late. Since you don’t say anything it must be alright. 

That’s possibly just the first time where things were not okay with a particular staff member, but it created a license to kind of push the edge of the envelope since it didn’t seem like you would do anything to exert proper discipline.

If you just would have said to the staff member who came in late, “Hey, what happened? You’re late.” in a very friendly manner and heard what he had to say and just acknowledged it, that might have handled it all by itself and things would have been fine. But you didn’t, because it was a little uncomfortable for you. Wouldn’t it have been a whole lot easier to confront at that time than to deal with more serious disciplinary actions later simply because you wouldn’t hold your position as an executive? 

When you have a staff member situation that you are not quite handling the way you should you usually go home and talk to somebody, like your spouse, about that staff member. You usually are not saying great things about that staff member, and you consider that he or she is not as valuable to you. Well, those critical thoughts and comments regarding that staff member will likely not get him or her to advance in the business.

If you look over your time as a business owner or manager you may find that with any staff member that ever quit, you knew that they were going to quit before they quit. You start noticing that the more negative thoughts that you have about the staff member, the less likely they have a chance of making it.

It is pretty interesting. If you start thinking that you have the best staff – that these people will do anything for you – and you start treating them as though it is true, well guess what? It will become true. But if you consider that you have staff that, quite honestly, are less than ideal, who won’t go to bat for you, who are just trying to put in time and get a paycheck, versus being loyal and dedicated to the expansion and purpose of your organization, you’ll get exactly that too. 

Usually you find how a business is doing based upon how the owner is doing. Is he or she happy? Can he or she get things done all by himself or herself? It is a barometer of you. If you are not doing well, your business doesn’t do well.

A very simple place to start is by considering that you have very willing staff members who are completely on the team, playing by the same rules as everyone else. When something just doesn’t seem right, you should go to that individual and talk to him or her about that concern that you have, and you’ll find that the practice will run more smoothly and things will be easier. 

Find out what really is going on, because that is part of the hat of being an executive.  It is all up to you, as it always has been.