What can bite you in the night
Have you ever had that experience where you wake up in the middle of the night concerned that something isn’t quite right?
Usually it isn’t anything or it’s just because the dog barked at something.
But there is that odd occasion when you just know that something is wrong, but what?
Often it’s the employer woken because they are stressed over issues with one of their employees.
What’s keeping them awake isn’t just that the employee is doing wrong. It’s something they themselves have already done and they have that sinking feeling that it’s going to turn around and bite them. And right now, with farm life full on, is exactly when this type of situation happens.
A stressed employer can feel that an employee is showing no sense of responsibility or that they lack ability which pushes the employer, (who already feels that they are struggling to fix errors and do their own job), to snap!
Now, in the dark of the night, that same employer has woken to that sinking feeling that they may have been played by an employee who didn’t want to work anyway and who now has a way out that will give them cash. Yes it’s too late to avoid this. The employer will just have to watch the clock tick past until they can ring a specialist and see what can be done to retrieve the situation.
As a good employer who is flat out on the farm, what can you do to prevent that thing that can bite you in the night?
Here’s a few of the basics that employers must keep be aware of:
Do not lose your temper – no matter how provoked you feel.
Do not swear – at anyone or anything. Others have made the mistake of swearing at inanimate objects thinking that will keep them out of trouble from an employee taking offence and being intimidated – it didn’t and it won’t. If an employee is within earshot your only safe policy is: if you can’t say anything nice – say nothing!
Do not hit anything – especially animals, but not even objects. Sounds obvious but others have made this mistake and again it costs.
Never suggest to an employee that if they aren’t happy they can always leave.
Do not accept a resignation given during or straight after a dispute with an employee.
Do not try and use the recession and a restructure to remove a poor performing employee – performance manage poor employees. Restructure for solid reasons based on financial necessity and work flow.
Always keep the communication going. Ensure when you first have a concern you talk about then and there – do not leave it to fester away.
Do not assume that the employee will have a sense of humour and be able to ‘‘take a joke’’. They are often just as tired as you and won’t think it’s funny.
Do not assume the employee will care about your business like you do. They have their reasons to be there but they will not perfectly align with yours which is OK so long as they are doing their job correctly.
That’s some simple tips to keep in mind.
Tackling problems early, training, setting clear expectations and inspecting for those expectations all go a long way to making and keeping good employees.