Whose Work Are You Doing?

One of the traps that some managers fall into is when they step in and bail out lower performing employees. When certain staff members aren’t doing their jobs satisfactorily, a knee-jerk reaction is to jump in and do it yourself.

This isn’t a good idea. Not only do people not want to be micromanaged, snatching work from them (because you’ll meet the deadline or think you can do it better) is demoralizing. Over time, they will think, “Why bother? The work will never be good enough for my boss and she’ll just do it anyway.”

Your employees don’t learn from this and over time they lose motivation to do their jobs at the level you expect.

On top of this, when you’re busy doing their work, you neglect your work. So here’s the scenario: employees who aren’t doing their work, you’re doing their work, and you’re not doing your work.

Sounds like a lose-lose proposition, doesn’t it?

Don’t despair, though; consider these ideas to troubleshoot:

Training. Often the issue boils down to employees not having sufficient training. They may know the basics, but the nuances are what may make the ultimate difference in a job being done well. If they lack the nuances, assign a mentor to help. This isn’t a “one and done” task; it takes time to learn and master the nuances.

Is this the right job? The employee may be intelligent and eager, but you sense that something is missing. Ultimately the answer may be that you have a good person working in the wrong job. Think about how you can more effectively assess this employee’s skills and move him or her into a different position.

Attitude and work ethic. Good news, bad news, the same news: attitude and work ethic can be taught (sort of), but if the person isn’t motivated to have a great attitude and work ethic there really isn’t much you can do. A bad attitude not only influences that person’s work, but it can be contagious to those nearby. If this is the problem, it may be better to recruit another person.

The bottom line is that you need to fix the source of why someone isn’t producing effectively and not try to cover it up by doing the work yourself. Yes, it may take longer to see results, but everyone will be better off over time.

When your employees are working at your company’s standards, they will feel good about how they’re performing on the job….and you can focus on your job.

Have a great week!


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