What is the Root Cause of unproductive Employees?

What is the Root Cause of unproductive Employees?
Photo by Morgan Housel / Unsplash

Recently I was working with a client creating a new structure and grading system. During a discussion with the CEO of the company, I asked him, “How is the strategy and vision of the company communicated to your junior employees?” Surprised by my question the CEO said, “Why do my junior employees need to know the strategy of the company?” And to that I replied, “Because the role even of your most junior employee is to deliver your strategy.” Again very surprised, “Why so?” And I continued “Let’s say a customer walks into one of your stores and finds store is dirty and smelly. The cleaner failed to clean it properly. The client walks out disappointed, and does not return back to the store again. Have you lost income?” “Yes!” the CEO said. “If it was you walking inside the store, what would you do?” I continued. “I will fire the cleaner and the store manager on the spot!” he said.

The CEO became more surprised when I said, “No employee wakes up in the morning and says ‘today I am going to go to work and be a bad employee!’ If the cleaner is not doing a good job, it means one of several things:

  1. He has not been trained properly
  2. He is demotivated because he is not getting paid properly
  3. He is not treated properly by his superiors
  4. He is working in a toxic environment
  5. His working conditions are bad
  6. He has no clarity and feels insecure
  7. He is the wrong hire, perhaps the person has a different set of skills and finds this job boring and perhaps already looking for another job, or he has a personal problem and is not been able to focus on his job

For all these, who is to be blamed? The cleaner? Could the management have prevented this?”

The CEO ended up agreeing with me that a problem as simple as a cleaner not doing a good job, is deeply rooted from the senior management. Companies tend to terminate and point the finger to junior employees for losing clients or not generating revenues because it is the easy solution. Fire someone junior and problem is over!

Like in sickness, we have a symptom and we have a disease. If you have a headache, perhaps you are dehydrated. Headache is the symptom and dehydration is the root cause of the problem. If the cleaner is not doing a good job, this is only the symptom. The ‘disease’ needs investigation and evaluation.

The Article was provided by Just Talent