Telling the truth about SME life today

How “accountable” are employees?

In an ideal world, employees realise when they have made an error, they put their hands up to it and everyone works together to put it right. The good manager undoubtedly encourages a culture that promotes this happening. Hunky dory – in Utopia.

The problem is that in a lot of scenarios, people don’t realise that they have made mistakes or that their work is sub-quality and so are unable to put their hands up. A straightforward error is one thing – but sub-standard performance is another. The manager may also have soft-peddled pointing it out up to a certain point. I am often extremely guilty of this – I tend to go for encouragement and soft soap, rather than clear direction and guidelines from the start.

It’s therefore very easy to find yourself, as the boss, in a situation where you know that a member of staff is under-performing, you’ve explained it (albeit gently) several times and your temper’s about to blow – and the employee still can’t see what they’ve done wrong.

You then hit danger time. You’re frustrated because you’re not getting anywhere. Your member of staff knows they’re in deep trouble but still refuse to face up to their part in causing it. So what do you do?

You could opt for a “mediator”. Mediation is one of the new buzz words in employment and is certainly worth looking at when two parties are so drastically out of sync. Alternatively, do you just admit to yourself that here is a continually troublesome, resentful and underperforming employee, and let them go?

Advice and opinions welcome!



Related Stories

More From


If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!