Are "cockroaches" lowering your Net Profits?

Larry Gard - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

As I’ve promoted “Accountability” over the years, I have deducted that when you start talking to employees about holding them accountable for their actions, they appear to me as running from the change to accountability, like “cockroaches run to the cracks in the floor when the lights come on.”

Evidently, “lack of Accountability” is in all of our businesses to some degree.  But it’s been my experience that there are more “cockroaches” in your company than you realize.  When you turn on your investigation lights, you will see them run, deflect, distract, deny, shift blame, lie, do anything to not reveal their lack of accountability to any new “Accountability thinking”.  You will find that they don’t have the company’s best interest in mind.  They aren’t great ambassadors of your company.  And they have probably been wasting your money for a long time.

After you have tried a legitimate review, let me know if you didn’t find any activities that lowered your net profits.

I believe that there are basically three types of employees in most of our offices around the country; 

First, there are the “Engaged Employees” that you have, who can be identified by seeing them as the people who do the work of the company with integrity and passion.  “Engaged Employees” also feel a profound connection to their company and their expected goals.  They drive innovation and move the organization forward.  They have the company’s best interests in mind with all of their activities and actions focused on the company profitability.

The next group of employees is the “Not Engaged” employees.  These are the employees that have essentially checked out.   They’re sleepwalking through their workday, putting time in with no energy or enthusiasm—into their work.  These people are paycheck takers.  To be fair, business owners need to give these employees an opportunity to be coached up and become contributors to the profitability of the organization.  They need to be productive enough to add value to the company that is giving them an income.  Or, they may not be a good match for the company.

Then, there are the “Actively Disengaged” employees.  They aren't just unhappy at work; they’re very busy acting out their unhappiness as often as they can to disrupt everyone’s day, incrementally cutting away at your “Net Profits”.  It’s almost like their daily mission is to complain about things instead of looking for solutions that could improve their situation.  I’m sure you are familiar with the type, confrontational, closed minded, not interested in sharpening their saw or learning.  Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.  I fondly refer to this group as the “The Cockroaches” in your company.

“The Cockroaches” can destroy your company!  When the “Accountability” talk starts all cockroaches start to scatter.  You hear things like, “why do we need to do that?”  “I think things are going well”.  Or, “I’m not going to do that!  That’s stupid.”, “this company is so messed up” These people are the ones who add no value to your company.  They take a pay check and complain about the company environment, adding no solutions to the success of the company.

So I’m constantly surprised when I meet a business owner who is dealing with employees who are not “Accountable or Engaged” with the operation.  How can an owner justify an employee who doesn’t add value to the company’s net profits?  Isn’t that what it’s really all about?  Net Profit?

Owners need to realize that when a non-performer or disengaged employee is not put on notice for non-performance by the managers, it sets a bad precedent and a bad example for other employees and most importantly, the “engaged employees” who are trying to be responsible for the success of the organization.  The loss of good employees can occur from this type of practice of “lack of accountability” because the disengaged employees were either not reprimanded or rewarded for non-performance.  This will definitely affect your Net Profits in a negative way! 

So I suggest that you examine your workplace.  Is everyone in your organization accountable to the ownership of the company?  Or, are there “cockroaches”?  Where there’s a lack of accountability, a company tends to resemble what’s called a “country club” culture.  The “A players” often end up leaving because they crave and deserve accountability and get frustrated when good performers aren’t recognized and poor performers are not held accountable for poor performance.  
If you want to improve your net profits immediately, look for your “Cockroaches”!  The money you save, goes straight to your bottom line.  Net Profit!
Author- Larry Gard

“Gard Business Coaching is a St. Louis based Executive Business Coaching service that works with Founder/Owner based companies to improve Net Profits by clarifying owner expectations and employee accountability”

For more information about how Gard Business Coaching can help you in your business call Larry at 314-378-6644

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