I am always fascinated that employees think that leadership doesn’t notice when they have check out of their jobs. I have been a leader for many years and part of my job is to realize when employees stop caring. Passionate employees are essential for a successful business, when I notice that I have anything other than passionate team members, I act quickly.
This will be an excellent exercise for any leader or employee. For leaders, do some observing today and see if you have employees that might not be advocates for your company. For employees, if you have checked out, or if you show any of the following signs, it might be a great time to reconsider the vibes you’re putting off.
- Tardiness: I would do anything for employees to see the impacts through the eyes of a manager on tardiness. I myself will let a few slide, but when I have an employee consistently showing up late or calling in it drives me to exhaustion. This is a great way to let your leader know that you aren’t reliable.
- Wrinkles: unfortunately wrinkles aren’t in fashion this year. Taking time to make sure your clothes are ironed and professional looking sends the message that you take your job seriously and put in the time to look appropriate and professional.
- The bare minimum: I myself could never understand why people brag about doing the minimum expectation of a job. Challenge and reward are by far the most powerful and inspirational parts of employment. Striving for excellence makes time go by faster and keeps your leaders knowing you are committed.
- Bad attitude: when asked to do something it’s an inconvenience to you, when receiving feedback you become defensive, when receiving recognition- you don’t care.
- Work functions: employees that don’t show up, or do show up but spend countless amounts of time complaining make it too easy. Great leaders are committed to building strong teams and showing a human side of themselves. Whether you have a good excuse or not, if you don’t show up to a preplanned work function, it’s never forgotten.
- Lack of feedback: not speaking up, not giving or receiving feedback is perceived as negligence. Modern day leadership requires enormous amounts of collaboration, and is a proven way to make stronger and more effective decisions. Pulling teeth with associates is extremely frustrating and will ultimately lead managers to avoid asking for feedback from those individuals.
- Can’t support initiatives: whether it’s sales goals, a team picnic, or a change in dress code you can always count on one or two employees that only give feedback when it can be disruptive to your plan. Feedback is incredibly important, but feedback is not a venting session for disgruntled employees to talk about topics that have nothing to do with a productive meeting. The element of caring in this situation is caring about others knowing they are miserable at their job.
- Gossip: e-mailing, text blasting, and lunch conversations in the break room you name it, employees ready to jump ship will cast their anchor around the whole team! Depending on your other team members, gossip and slandering other employees and the company can be detrimental to your performance and morale. This goes beyond not caring; it shows leadership that you are miserable and ready to deal damage.
- Lack of flexibility: sometimes switching shifts, working an extra day a year, or learning a new process means the World to a leader. Flexibility shouldn’t be abused, but it’s also critical for a successful business. Objectives and schedules change sometimes; associates that refuse to be flexible in their role often leverage their “I don’t have to” mentality and can be incredibly trying for managers when asking for a little give.
- Team support: too often it’s the team members that present their frustration with employees who don’t pull their own weight. When teams collaborate and function as one unit to accomplish a goal, it only takes one person who doesn’t care to make others completely discouraged.
It’s very important to identify early on when employees drift from passionate. Identify, discover in open dialogue and make a fast decision on whether or not this employee wants to be there, in fact you should be very candid with that conversation. Let that employee know the impacts they have on the business, and that you support them leaving if there is no light in sight. I get entirely frustrated when leadership relies on individuals to quit, employees quit when its simply convenient for them at all cost to the company.
Remember that whatever role you play in life; mother, father, boss, or employee you have a responsibility to show passion for what you do. Take a long look at your surroundings and ensure that you aren’t giving or receiving the signs mentioned above, and if you are, always remember to seek the right development daily.
Founder of the leaderdevelopmentblog.com
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