Imagine that you own a business and need to manage a team of employees whose expertise runs the gamut from entry level to star!
Many don’t have to imagine such a scenario because that is exactly the type of business environment that you operate in. And, if you are like me, you demand a few basic things as a minimum requirement for employment.
The first is honesty because if you can’t trust that what an employee is telling you is always the truth, then how can you be sure that they are being honest with vendors and customers? And, along those same lines, an employee must have integrity which is a trait from the same general family as honesty.
In addition most would also likely want a hard and dedicated worker who is reliable and loyal to the firm, the product and to clients. After those the other important attributes possessed by an employee may vary by position, firm and industry.
New Business Scenario
Imagine for a second that your firm has the potential to land a huge sale that could be bigger than anything the company has seen in nine years. But, prior to pitching your product on Friday, a great deal of preparation is necessary that will require the presence and focus of each and every member of your team.
At 11:45 AM Wednesday morning when your first scheduled meeting to begin the process of creating the campaign is about to start, one of your top salespeople who is key to the process calls to say that he is stuck in traffic and will be there as soon as possible. By 2:00 PM when the meeting was winding down the salesman was still not there and the executive in charge assumed he had turned around and gone home.
At 2:15 PM, however, the salesman arrived and confessed that he had not actually been stuck in traffic but had simply ‘lost track of time’. He went on to say that he had been doing things around the house and by the time he realized what had happened it was 1:00 PM and there was no way that he was going to make it to the office in time.
How would you handle this employee who violated many of the attributes that you as a manager value? An employee who…
- Did not offer the truth,
- Exhibited a lack of seriousness concerning the project at hand and by extension the company and its prospects and finally,who
- Basically showed a lack of respect for the other team members that had gone all-in on the project?
Certainly it’s a tricky situation because, as I had mentioned earlier in the story, the guilty party is one of your top salespeople who would be hard if not impossible to replace. But, by the same token, no one member of a team should be allowed to be bigger than the whole.
We see this all of the time in sports and at times in business as well. Do you fire him, fine him, demote him or let it slide?
The New York Mets dealt with this very situation when star pitcher Matt Harvey missed the opening practice on Tuesday leading up to the teams first postseason game in nine years to be played against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Mets basically handled it by deciding to let it slide through a series of slaps on the wrist while keeping Harvey penciled in to start Game 3.
How would you have handled it?
Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York. He can be reached at mhaltman@HallmarkAbstractLLC.comGoogle+