There always seem to be those workers that have the greatest potential, but there’s always something that gets in their way every single time: excuses. Excuses stop them from doing their job, and it’s always something external that is wrong. They seem to look for any way out of something. Yes, those employees exist, and there is a proper way to handle them: building that “no-excuses culture”.
Excuses Are Costly:
The most positive thing you can do is realize how costly excuse-making can be. It costs not only man-power but productivity and drives down the bottom-line. It also can bring down the morale of other hard-working employees. People who are working hard can’t stand seeing their peers making excuses to get out of doing work! It creates an unfair work environment for the rest of the people who do want to work hard. Realize the cost of that so you can stop it!
Hire Positive, Energetic People:
The best way to avoid excuse-making is to hire a team of enthusiastic, responsive workers who want to work hard and help the company succeed. Encourage hard work and reward it accordingly. The more handsomely rewarded employees are for their work the more valued they feel and the less likely they are to come up with a bunch of excuses to do anything but what they were hired to do! Show them that they are valued and respected and most workers will be happy to return that favor with hard work and dedication to the company. Make energetic people part of your culture.
Offer a Fair Approach to Employees:
Treat all employees equally. Respecting everyone and treating them the same as their coworkers leaves them with fewer reasons to “have it out” for the manger. If workers are feeling they are being treated unfairly an open-door policy or ability to schedule a meeting to sit and discuss that with a manager can help clear up any misconceptions. Satisfied employees are more likely to work hard and make less excuses which will create that “no-excuses” culture.
Understand Life Circumstances Versus Excuses:
It is only fair that the employer be able to draw the line between real family problems that the worker may be having and excuses they are making to get out of work. An employee who calls in sick two or three times a year, or misses a day of work for a family emergency once a year is likely not making any excuse at all. Are the person’s family problems genuine? Anyone would hope so, and it’s pretty easy to gauge based on the person’s demeanor while at work. If they work hard, get the job done, and are valuable employees and these things come up occasionally or rarely (i.e. a few times a year or less) it might be in the employers interest to give them the benefit of the doubt. If they are chronic excuse-makers then possibly questioning their motives behind the days off is more reasonable. Just be sure that person is really not having family or life issues, or you may end up parting ways with an incredible worker who just needed some time to get something situated in their home lives.
Lazy Workers Make a Company Lethargic:
Employees who always have an excuse not to do something from the get-go should be a red-flag to the employer right away. Sit down with anyone who seems to have this issue and have a fair discussion with that person. Explain that excuses aren’t accepted here. If they have an issue that can be solved, then move to help them solve it. Otherwise, it may be time to sever ties and move along to find someone who is not prone to excuses.
Getting employees to produce QUALITY work above quota is another great benefit to a company. While encouraging a sensible work-life balance is important, encouraging extra production with monetary rewards or paid days off can encourage employees to work harder and benefit the company more. Many employees will happily work a little overtime or produce a little more in return for a FAIR money incentive or an extra day off to spend with their family. In these cases, the company and employee both benefit.
In the end, it’s up to the employer to create a culture where people work hard and are not making perpetual excuses, but it’s also up to the employer to be fair and reasonable with employees. Occasional things are going to come up in employees’ lives which are legitimate and may require their productivity to fall a bit or cause them to miss a day of work or be late for work. Be understanding to genuine employees who provide dedicated hard work to the company or you will lose valuable talent. However, for those who just sit around and gripe and do nothing but make excuses all day, it may be time to let them find a new line of work. That balance can ensure that you are keeping a hold of good quality workers who are going through a hard time, but don’t keep lazy, excuse-makers that bring the company down around for too long. Get the culture right!
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