On Being Dependable

Are your employees dependable? These are people who fulfill their commitments accurately, on time, and with no excuses. They come to work on time and work as long as it takes to complete an assignment.

Think about your staff and honestly evaluate their dependability. During the past couple of weeks, I’ve heard all kinds of stories that demonstrate a lack of dependability. Here is a sampling:

– A senior staff member attended a meeting with her partners and not only was completely unprepared but didn’t “get it” as to why this was a problem.

– A former employee approached his previous employer to return, was rehired, and resigned with no notice by text two weeks later.

– Vendors who missed two appointments in a week with their client (and, yes, no notice was given) were oblivious as to how their absence affected the project for which they were hired.

What the heck is going on and why are leaders putting up with these behaviors?

One reason is that dependability is increasingly rare in the workplace and it seems that employers don’t value it enough to insist on it. But consider this: You may have people who have the hard skills to do the job, but if you can’t rely on them, how does it affect your deadlines and deliverables?

If you have a choice between “A” employees who do great work but are unreliable and “B” employees who do a pretty good job but are reliable, you’d be better off with “B”. You can always mentor them to increase their technical expertise.

Give this some thought, and let me know how you handle this leadership challenge.

Have a great week!


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