Being the boss takes qualities and skills that many people don’t have. That is why you are the boss and they are not. But you have a quality that your employee’s hate. Want to know what it is? Drum roll please…You accept their excuses.
Employee’s know that they often lack skills and confidence. Most want to do better and to achieve more. But you, as their boss, get in the way of their progress. How? Because you allow them to make excuses. You listen to their excuses, you believe their excuses, and every time you do that, deep down, they hate you for it. They don’t know how to push through excuses, and you don’t force them to do so. Subconsciously they want to push through their excuses, to do better and be more valuable to the organization and they need you to help them.
If they had all the answers, you would be working for them, not the other way around. You, as the boss, have a responsibility to make your employee’s better. By not allowing excuses, you will push them to increase their commitment, solve problems, and develop a CAN-DO attitude. These attributes increase their value to the organization. Build a company culture in which excuses are simply not tolerated. Here are 5 tips to help you remove excuses in your organization.
1. GIVE EXAMPLES OF EXCUSES: Make this fun so your team can see how silly excuses sound. Call a team meeting and go through a list of the worst excuses they have ever given or heard. Here is my favorite. My office is in Dallas. We don’t get much frigid weather. But during a rare freezing morning, one of my employees called in and said the door locks on his car were frozen. He poured warm water on them to melt the ice and the entire lock had now frozen solid. He couldn’t get into his car to drive to work. Funny thing was that it was the same excuse he used on the one freezing day we had the year before. Either he didn’t learn from one year to the next, or he was feeding me a line of bull sh.t. But both times I excepted it, and he got the day off. I should have said, “Get an extension cord, plug your hair drying into it, turn it on and point it at the lock on your car door. When the ice melts…get your ass to work.”
2. PUT SOME LOGIC TO THE EXCUSE: I love this excuse. “I know I need to lose weight, so I will start my diet on Monday.” But today is Wednesday! How does waiting until Monday help the situation? It doesn’t, because there is no logic in this excuse. Start the diet today…Wednesday…and think how far ahead you will be by the time Monday rolls around!
3. EXPLAIN THE CUSTOMER IMPACT: When our employees make excuses, not only does their confidence and production suffer, but it does the same to your customer. If your employee makes an excuse like, “We ran out of tape in the shipping department. I couldn’t close the package. That’s why the shipment didn’t go out last night.” Your customer suffers. Perhaps your customer had to have YOUR shipment to finish THEIR job! The excuse offered by your shipping department (because they didn’t do whatever they had to do to get more tape) caused a problem in your customers business. It’s a domino effect.
4. HAVE A COMPANY CULTURE THAT OFFERS PERSONAL DAYS: Give your employee’s some paid personal days. At CFF, after your first year, we offer 5 paid personal days each year. Our employees don’t have to make an excuse. They can just simply say they are going to take a personal day, and it’s done. They get the day off and we don’t have to listen to an excuse.
5. LISTEN UP: The excuses your employee’s offer may be an opportunity for you to improve. In the shipping example above. You messed up and didn’t order enough tape. That doesn’t mean the employee shouldn’t have done whatever they could to get more, but the screw up was on you. Be open to the cause of the excuse and do everything in your power to prevent it from h appening again.
Excuses are everywhere and used by everyone. Excuses get in the way of action. Action creates success. The single greatest impact you can make on the development of your staff is to help them by NOT ACCEPTING EXCUSES. They might not like it at first, but trust me, over time, they will thank yo u for the push.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matt Manero is the Founder and President of Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc. (CFF) located in Dallas, TX. CFF is celebrating its 22nd year in business and provides financing for commercial fleet vehicles such as box trucks, cargo vans, big rigs, tow trucks, dump trucks and construction equipment. CFF is a 4-time winner of the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. Inc. Magazine Top 500/5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. Matt has helped thousands of small business owners move closer to the money they deserve. He is the author of, “The Grit”, and his forthcoming book, “You NEED MORE MONEY” will be out in March 2018. Learn more at www.cffnationwide.com or call 972.247.8447 phone or on all social media platforms via @Matt Manero.