The Responsibility Conundrum - Where art Thou?

Mr/Ms, 'not me' is often on holidays in your business. Yes come rain or shine they attend the workplace and put in the day for you; coffee to drink, gossip to catch up on, spying on management and colleagues, frequent toilet breaks, long lunches, long phone calls and let not forget the email needs to be checked and replied. Off course the home business needs more customers so a few phone calls here and there are quite appropriate so they think!

Meanwhile back at Mr/Ms Managers Office you are straining over the latest figures and wonder why productivity is waning, profits are down and as you look out your office window you can see your workers seem happy. And can you believe it Absenteeism is down and why not your business has become a de-facto social club.

Responsibility

We appear to live in an age of irresponsibility! Taking responsibility is becoming more of a rarity in business today as a generation of rights driven individuals care more about their ego's than their character. Rights are important but rights come through taking responsibility I have found.

The concept of an honest days work for an honest days pay; well it just isn't happening in some places anymore.

As so as Mr/Ms Business Owner you trudge through your business day to day wondering what went wrong.

Take responsibility!

So what is Responsibility! In business responsibility could be defined as taking personal initiative to do what you are committed to, to keep your word, be honest, and act in the best interests of the business.

Why the Change

In a post modern era we have tried to remove the shackles of our youth for many reasons, and rightly so. This may have been because of past injustices, lack of opportunity, ignoring our 'roots' and 'values' or maybe it could because we became lazy and could not be bothered anymore. A more worrying trend is that perhaps we have mistakenly removed responsibility and ethics when removing the other impediments.

Teachers have told me that they are frightened of some of their students and certainly the law does not allow reasonable discipline. Respect for the law is at an all time low. I recently heard that motorbike gangs have more members in New Zealand than the police force.

What goes around comes around or what you reap is what you so is the old comments.

But I hear you say we are living in a world of enlightenment!

Consider this; higher numbers of rape, homicide, violence and crime in society and the workplace. Enlightenment appears to be a way off yet I suspect!

Reclaiming you organisation

You must take steps to reclaim your business if it has become a kindergarten or a social club!

You must take radical steps and involve yourself with your workers by getting out of your office and observing what goes on and making immediate changes.

The Pain

The old cliché is true; no pain no gain! In instances where we have been involved with organisations reclaiming their businesses we have observed the hurt and pain the owner has gone through to get their business back but we have seen them come out the other side and reap the rewards.

Possible Solutions

As a business owner you need to retake the authority you have lost. You can start to do this by taking responsibility and

? Spend more time working with your workers (initially)

? Introducing responsibility by giving each worker a Job Description or changing and updating their old one with some KPI's

? Link the Job Description to a Performance, Productivity Bonus to strengthen the areas you want changed

? Deal with recalcitrant employees firmly and swiftly

? Send a silent message that irresponsibility and the holiday house is over; the key is silently

? Cull the dead wood

? Reward outstanding achievers

? Build a team environment where people are openly recognised and rewarded for their contributions

? Take advice from seasoned experienced professionals

? Keep at it and don't become discouraged and lose heart

You will win back your business and see your workers become responsible. Those who refuse to will move on or be moved on.

The gain

In assisting a business owner recently who had his employee's totally running riot with productivity and profits down, this owner was looking at closing his business. After getting involved we negotiated an agreement with employees, unions and management. An agreement was reached which included employees receiving a pay increase in return for the business receiving flexible working hours, Workable Rosters, Key Performance Indicators underpinning further pay increases, grievance and disciplinary measures and an agreement that employees would take personal responsibility for their own work down to workers looking after their colleagues call-out rosters when their colleagues were sick.

This was a great outcome for the business owner and employees were happy. Some employees eventually left; they did not want the responsibility and admitted this to the owner in private. Today the business has recorded record profits for the owner who could not be happier.

What about You

You can take control and have your business back under control. The question is do you want to endure some short lived pain for long term gain?

I encourage you to get moving, get control and get advice.

Take the time today to build your future, it's worth it. Biz Momentum specialises in assisting businesses in their strategic human resource management and employee relations and has had the privilege to assist a number of concerned businesses. Drop by and say hello at www.biz-momentum.com where there is more information to help your business grow. You are not alone; many have trod this path and reaped good rewards.

Feel free to contact Philip at Biz Momentum with your story or question and take action today.

Philip Lye is Director of Biz Momentum Pty Ltd and provides professional management services for:

? Strategic Human Resource Management
? Employee Relations Advice
? Workplace Health & Safety Compliance Strategies
? Management Skills Training

Philip holds qualifications in Accounting, Leadership, Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations and is a qualified accountant.

Prior to starting Biz Momentum Philip started his career as a jnior clerk in Banking and Finance rising through various industries to Chief Executive Officer. He has managed small to medium businesses and uses his expereince to assist other business owners.

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