Have you ever stopped and really considered the actual cost/benefit of your employees?
We all tend to be extremely busy these days. I’ll bet you know, within a couple of dollars, how much profit you made last quarter. I’ll even bet you know how much inventory you have on hand right now; but do you actually know the true worth of your employees?
In Steve Job’s autobiography, he explained that he only wanted “A” type employees; he wouldn’t tolerate any “B” players. Apparently, he was a pretty tough guy to work for. As a practical matter, not all of us adhere to those same standards. We often grow comfortable with each of our employees- the “A” as well as the “C” employees!
In most small companies, the cost of an employee’s salary and benefits is the second or third highest cost for the company. So, what happens to your bottom line when you tolerate that one “bad apple?” Well, speaking from experience, it can be a lot. About a year ago, we lost one of those “bad apples.” This fellow had been with us for a few years- hired by my predecessor. His production was standard in nature, but his attitude and attendance were not good. It wasn’t until he left the company that we truly understood the effects of his negative influence on other people here. After he was gone, productivity in his group improved. People in his work group had a better attitude towards their own job and the company. They began putting in much needed overtime (when asked), and the quality remained high- all because his negative influence and the peer pressure he had used was finally gone.
Now on the other hand, we are blessed to have a number of very skilled, long-term and dedicated people on our staff. These people don’t waste their time, or your money. They are the folks who quietly and efficiently go about doing their own job and contributing to the company’s bottom line. These are the folks that make you profitable!
We are also fortunate to be a growing and expanding company which has recently been attracting younger and better educated people to our work force. These people bring excitement, energy, and enthusiasm to our company- something that the older folks, like me, appreciate very much.
A well-trained, dedicated, and experienced work force requires us to treat them fairly, with respect, and value them every bit as much as we do all of our other major business assets. They are worth their weight in gold, but don’t ever be afraid to throw out those “bad apples”- your work life will be much easier and more profitable without them.
-Roger A. Wandersee