6 Most Common Reasons Businesses Fail – Part 4

by Brian on April 22, 2010

Number 4 of the 6 most common reasons businesses fail is:

Treating Employees Like Children

A lot of management and employers treat their employees like children by:

  • Banning tons of Internet sites.
    • If someone is abusing the Internet, punish that person.
  • Not delegating tasks.
    • The point of hiring employees is to utilize them.
  • Looking over their shoulder all day.
    • Standing over the shoulder to help the employee is one thing, but to just be there is highly irritating.
  • Monitoring how long people are gone for lunch
    • If someone is 5-10 minutes late from their lunch, but they are meeting or exceeding their role’s expectations… is it really necessary to monitor their lunch time? What’s worse is when someone points out to their employee that the employee is 2 minutes late.
  • Monitoring how long a person’s break is.
    • If an employee completes all of their tasks, but takes a 20 minute break instead of 15 minutes… it’s not a big deal.
  • Demanding tons of meaningless reports.
    • “Did you get that memo on TPS reports?”
  • Demanding tons of meaningless meetings.
    • If there is not a set agenda with a specific goal to be attained, there should be no meeting.
  • Not getting input from employees before changing standard operating procedures.
    • This tells your employees you don’t care about or value their opinions.

Another term for all of this is Micro-Managing.

Micro-managing employees wastes time, payroll and productivity.

Don’t get me wrong, having an employee stick to a schedule is not micro-managing… Standing over them to make sure they do it, is.

Regardless if you are the owner of the company, sales manager, customer service manager, office manager or any other type of manager… Your job is to manage people… Not control them.

Every position should have an exact way of being measured.

The whole point of having people work for a business is to increase the bottom line.

I started at one company as a regular sales person… The owner said if anyone on the sales floor could bring in more than $25K between Monday and Friday, they would get to take the rest of the week off.

I always tried to have $25K in by Wednesday afternoon… Sometimes it would be Thursday mid-day, but I rarely ever had to work on a Friday. It got to the point where I would come in between 9am-10am and leave by 3-4pm, while taking a solid hour lunch around noon…

Could my boss have motivated me to bring in more cash?

Maybe… But I was 25-26 years old, single in San Diego… and it was Summer. I was already making good money, so getting the time off was my motivation.

My goal was to be able to enjoy Thursday night $2 u-call-its a Moondoggies in Pacific Beach and have Mimosas and Bloody Marys at Shades in Ocean Beach on Friday morning… Then head out to Dog Beach or the Dog Park with my dog through late Friday morning into early Friday afternoon.

If he would have tried to micro-manage me… I probably would have ended up with numbers similar to everyone else and not got to enjoy my just reward.

Everyone else averaged $10-15K per week.

He was a smart businessman in the sense that he knew how much he had to make to cover his nut… AND he had a specific amount of profit he wanted to make.

If anything was above his specific amount of profit, it was gravy for him… but it wasn’t a big deal as long as he made his number.

Burn Out

From my experience, companies who have a culture of micro-managing tend to have a culture of high turnover from burn-out.

Hiring an employee is an expensive cost… If employees quit from a company on a regular basis, the company needs to recognize that they’re doing something wrong. It’s time to re-evaluate the company’s management style.

Have you ever been micro-managed? How did it make you feel?

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