As an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I often listen to people and organizations talk about how to deal with their poor performers or chronic complainers. Or, as I like to put them into “horse” terms, their jackasses! We spend way too much time catering to the jackasses and working around them in our organizations to make sure that things get done. Why? It is positively insane to have this mindset. All the while, the vast majority of people in your herd who are Clydesdales are looking on in amazement at the leader and wondering, “Does this leader have any clue what they are doing?”
The Clydesdale starts to question the ability of the leader to do their job and to lead…and rightfully so! During all this time, the Clydesdale is doing extra work to cover for the laziness or ineptitude of the jackass. All the time they are getting angrier and angrier and angrier. This anger often prompts them to wonder if the organization as a whole is inept. After all, why would senior leadership tolerate inept first-line leaders and jackasses who do whatever they damn well please? Leadership at all levels of the organization begins to develop a bad name.
This employee retention author has seen Clydesdales confront the first-line leader out of frustration and ask what’s going to be done about it and then they get the runaround answer. The Clydesdale shakes their head, walks away and, at that crucial point tries to decide if the leader does not care, why should they care or they say “the hell with it” and start to look for another job. Either way you have lost a Clydesdale to another employer or to disengagement while keeping a jackass!
Don’t leaders understand how their people think? Do they think their people are immune to these feelings? Do they think their people are so stupid and don’t see what’s going on? This employee recruitment expert is not the brightest bulb in the pack, but he does put himself in the shoes of the average employee. When he does that, it becomes immediately evident that action must be taken when you have jackasses in your organization because it will impact your ability to retain your Clydesdales. Once you lose your Clydesdales the organization starts down a dangerous path where employee turnover can decimate an organization. Deal with your jackasses!