Nine Questions Worthy of Your Time (Are you living in denial?)

Does everyone at your company know what it takes to get a pay increase?

I am not saying give anyone a raise, but it would be helpful if your employees knew what they must do to earn one.

Do your managers and supervisors know how to manage people?

No one likes to be told they don’t know how to manage others or that they are not doing a very good job managing. I know there are plenty of individuals who love the title, the pay and the cache that goes with being seen as a leader, but let’s be honest: some people in management are simply not good at it.

How good of a job do you do as the leader of explaining your decisions to the organization?

About the time Zero-Based Budgeting become a buzz, I first heard of the Mushroom Theory of Management. It was described as keeping everyone covered with manure, and when their heads pop up to find out what is really going on, chop them off (meaning, fire them). Could you inadvertently being running your organization this way?

How much training do your front line employees receive?

These are the people who are often the first and sometimes the only point of contact with your clients. While these are not always high-paying positions, they can be “make or break” roles. These positions are worth investing in to insure the best available individuals are on your payroll.

Is it time to have an attitude check with your employees?

We tell employees to keep their issues and problems at home, yet when attitudes and emotions seep out at work; it is ignored and not addressed.

No organization has the luxury of turning a client or possible client off by allowing people to make negative comments about the company, their fellow employees or the products and services they market.

Are your employees empowered to address client problems?

I’ll never forget one evening in a well known restaurant (part of a national chain) where I my napkin slipped from my lap and landed on the carpet. I asked our server for a new one. Nothing happened and I asked a second server and then a third server.

In frustration I approached yet a fourth server who explained that the napkins were locked up and the manager had to be summoned to get a clean one. I use this example to demonstrate how sometimes a policy to save a few pennies can lose revenue, profits and clients.

What will it take to pull the trigger on terminating the disruptive, non-producing employees in your organization?

I keep hearing stories about employers being held hostage by employees who think that they are God’s gift to the organization.

These are the people who swagger around with egos bigger than the building, ignore the boss’s orders and believe that rules were made for other people.

Every day these behaviors are tolerated is another day the rest of the employees think that they can do the exact same thing (or worse) without repercussions.

How clean is your facility?

I know that there are some individuals who say they thrive when their desk looks like a site where fossils can be found, but people are usually more efficient and effective with a clean and organized work space. I know it is October, but would it make sense to have everyone spend an hour cleaning up their immediate work area?

Are you and your management team leading by example?

I know that there are areas where everyone can all improve when it comes to this measuring stick. Your employees, your clients and your vendors deserve it from the individuals with leadership responsibility. It starts and ends with you.