Friday, April 15, 2011

Are Weeds Destroying Your Employee Garden?

I don't know about you, but I noticed the first weed of the season in my yard about 10 weeks ago.  And that's all I did - I just noticed it.  I would like to think that if I had gone and pulled it out right then; I would not have had another patch in another area of my yard a few days later.

Weeds are like that, one pops up and if left untreated your whole yard is quickly over taken by other weeds.  Next the home owners association sends a "friendly reminder" to get rid of your weeds or it will cost you.  Then the neighbors drive by and think "Those people just don't care about their yard!"

From a human resource standpoint weeds are like poor performing employees.  They get noticed more than your good employees.  They stick out as ugly and menacing to your customers, vendors and other employees.  If left untreated, like the weeds in my yard, they soon spread and start affecting other areas of your operation.  In the end they will cost you one way or the other.

As any good landscaper will tell you, the best way to prevent a yard full of weeds is a regular and professional grade treatment program, BEFORE the situation gets out of hand.  The same is true with your employees - you need to have a plan to address potential "weeds" in your workplace.  You need a treatment program to keep your employees from turning ugly and menacing and eventually choking out the good employees.

Your landscaper has a variety of tools and materials he uses to prevent and eliminate weeds in your yard.  Besides just pulling out the weeds, he/she uses chemicals that are effective on the types of weeds you have and uses the right amount so it doesn't harm the various other types of plants nearby.  I bet the really good landscapers even make periodic inspections to make sure the treatment works.

Your human resource treatment program should be thorough and effective as well.  Some things you will want to include are:

  • Hiring procedures that effectively screen out potential "weeds"
  • Standards and expectations of employees' conduct that are shared with all employees starting on Day 1
  • Fair and consistent disciplinary procedures
  • Regular performance feedback sessions; AND
  • Training for you, your supervisors and employees on all of the above.
Noticing a weed is the first step in having a beautiful yard - taking action to prevent and eliminate weeds is the most important step.  I wish you a lush and attractive yard and a successful and motivated workplace.

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