Do Not Feel Like a Failure if Some Employees Fail to Respond to Your Coaching

Jeffery whines constantly.

Eric puts off assignments and rushes to complete them at the last minute.

Shirley cannot seem to avoid gossiping about her coworkers.

Ethel does good work most of the time but is prone to silly mistakes.

Horace’s work space is always a wreck.

What to do with employees who behave like this? Coach them up, of course. But how much coaching does it take to cure these missteps?

Here is a reality check—you are more likely to win the lottery than you are to turn these flawed performers into reliable, go-to team players.

By the time you hire employees, most of their behaviors are hard wired. They have heard your lectures from previous employers, former teachers and their friends. You can also bet their parents gave them their best shot.

Who you hire is who you have. You cannot turn iron into gold and you will not likely perfect these prickly behaviors. You may be a good coach but you are not that good.

If problematic employees sabotage your team’s performance, work with human resources to professionally remove them. Perhaps they can find a better fit in another organization.  But if the irritating behaviors hover around the nuisance category, get over it. As the comedian Ron White said, “You just can’t fix stupid.”


For Greater Success–Spend More Money on Hiring or Training?

hiring-training-17“Although we are very selective in whom we hire, we place a lot of emphasis on developing our current employees.”

“We provide training for our current employees, but we place a lot more emphasis on hiring the right person.”

Which is the better approach?  Most say “Do both.  Hire the best and invest in their development.”  Sure, companies invest budget in both training and hiring.  But most companies invest more dollars-per-person in training than they do in hiring.

For example, if it costs an average of $8,000 to hire a new employee, a company may spend an average of $12,000 per employee for training.

Not good.  Research suggests that sixty to eighty percent of employee training is wasted—meaning that companies do not see lasting changes in employees’ behaviors.

For sure, companies get little return from the money they spend on training marginal producers.  If you let whining, argumentative, mistake-prone, self-serving losers slip through your hiring screens, no amount of training dollars is going to turn them into cooperative, record-setting award winners.

For my money, I say take some of the training budget and redirect it to hiring the right person—the one who has the God-given ability (and character) to perform the tasks.  If you do this, guess what?  Training becomes a lot more effective.