Why let employees continually shoot themselves in the feet?
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Employees have told me they would not shoot themselves in the feet tonight if they wanted to participate in and win a foot race in the morning. First,
the act would result in physical pain that is not enjoyable, and second, it would interfere with running. Knowing this leads to the looming question: Why allow employees to continuously engage in behaviors that could derail or have adverse consequences on their careers, i.e., shooting themselves in the feet.

Let me tell you about a young man recognized as being extremely intelligent and technically talented. The dealership was lucky because the individual wanted to return home. He has been working at the dealership for a couple of years and the issue that surrounds him is no one
likes him. He is brash, arrogant, readily offers his opinions regardless of the subject, becomes frustrated when others fail to quickly accept his opinions and complains the dealership’s practices are antiquated compared to the dealership that he recently left.

Hold on, it gets worse. So, I asked his two upline supervisors, “Who is mentoring this young man?” The answer was shocking… no one. I offered to discuss the precarious situation with the employee and was told, “We’ll have to think about it.” Why allow this employee to dig a hole so deep that he may never be able to get out of it?

As I’m writing this article, I’m reminded of the service manager who hasn’t received a performance evaluation during the five years of his employment. He assumed that since no one has talked to him he’s doing okay. The truth is he is not. He has the reputation of having a negative attitude, being a constant complainer, and failing to cooperate with other departments.

Every organization has employee issues. Throughout the years, I’ve addressed hygiene issues, told parents to pay an adult child to stay home, and encouraged professional dress of both men and women (people need to understand that physical appearance is still important). However, the most sensitive issue was talking to a CEO and his attractive human resources manager (who was married) that their public display of affection would be more appropriately conducted in private.


Western Equipment Dealer Magazine Fall 2019 Issue
By Larry Cole, PhD


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