Vincy Workplace
April 1, 2005
Set an example – Fire them!

The combination of a bad attitude, a half hearted approach to assisting customers, lack of enthusiasm, tardiness, a sense of entitlement and the sheer lack of initiative should be enough to get almost anybody fired but it seems that’s not true in some companies. Wake up employers, private and public sector, if the employee does not perform fire them!{{more}}

Is it unreasonable to expect an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay?

It makes no sense to just sit around and complain about the calibre of your employees if you are not willing to be assertive enough to expect the best from them. Employees know that in order to get fired they have to do something really horrible and bad performance seems not to be on that list.

Bad performers don’t get fired, they get promoted, moved to different departments and the shuffling continues until that person decides on his own terms when to leave.

If bad performers even thought they would be fired, then when a customer enters a business, he would be sure to greet the customer. If the customer asked a question he would answer or be quick to find the right solution.

The employee would smile and ensure that all the customer’s needs were met and if the customer became irate, he would not begin to argue with or ignore the customer. He would answer the business phone in a professional manner and would not leave customers on hold for long periods. Care would be taken to process orders and response times to requests would be shorter.

Some employers are in part to blame for the poor work attitude of the working population, as they tolerate behaviour that is simply unacceptable.

Family relations, friendships, politics, seniority and sympathy for an employee‚ sad state of their personal affairs are factors that sometimes cloud an employer’s judgement when deciding what to do with a non-performer.

Although much has been said about global competition, the reality has not hit home quite yet. Bottom lines will be affected, customers will make decisions with their dollars and employers would have no choice but to lead, follow or get pushed out of business by their competitors who understand the importance of serving the customer.

Be proactive and begin to set realistic performance expectations, make your staff meetings learning sessions. Delivering excellent service can begin with something as simple as a greeting. Raise the standard and watch your revenues go up.

• Karen Hinds works with companies and professionals to develop their competitive edge through effective communications, image management and customer service. Send comments and suggestions to