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.”
• 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.
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!