What Do You Do When Your Employees Don’t Care?

...is there a way out of this?

We expect much from our employees. Work long hours but still make no mistakes.  Come in on weekends or holidays and remember to treat every customer as your friend or family in order to provide the highest in customer service.

"employees don't care"

Seems pretty reasonable, right?

But do we believe that each of our employees takes their job as seriously as we do?

If so, this may be a big mistake on our part.

Not every employee is happy with their job or will go to the ends of the earth in order to fulfill the needs of the company. Many just want a paycheck, we must understand this.

Just as there are tall people and short people, fast people and slow people, our employees are just as diverse and their work ethic and loyalty to their job can be reflected in many of the same ways.

Not all employees are driven or have a burning desire to climb the corporate ladder or be a leader. Click To Tweet

We must realize this but at the same time we must do all we can to supply the tools and training to all employees in order to provide the nurturing atmosphere necessary for those that do wish to grow.

It’s in our benefit as managers or owners to make sure we are not so blinded with our own ambition that we fail to identify those that can help us achieve our goals.

It would be shameful if we cast aside the raw talent of those fresh-faced recruits without helping them grow.

We can’t do it all alone, great staff with a positive attitude is the key to success.  But we can’t be a “slave driver” focused only on what what we need.  The employees need things too!

We must realize that not all want to put their job before their personal life, that’s fine, it’s a part of business.

As managers, we must allow our staff to breathe, to take time off for their family, to appreciate all their efforts with a hard earned vacation or granted off on a special day. Usually when we do, our employees come back re-energized and ready to tackle the work challenges ahead.

Remember: “it’s not personal, it’s just business”.

In business it's only personal when we make it so. Click To Tweet

But, business, for most non-management staff, is not their life; it’s their job/career. We can make it business…but not at the expense of being “personal”.

➤Related Post: “What’s Wrong With This Company?

How do you keep your employees focused on the job but still allow them the ‘quality of life’ they deserve? ➤Leave a comment below and add to the discussion, thanks.

Copyright © 2018 Steve DiGioia

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13 thoughts on “What Do You Do When Your Employees Don’t Care?

  1. How do you keep your employees focused on the job but still allow them the ‘quality of life’ they deserve? Well…I think that if a manager reads their Corporate manual a lot of this is already established and answered: there are answers and laws for sick leave hiring and firing people, there are rules for how to treat and protect your employees: ie sexual harassment and different distresses that might be present on a job but in no way should be tolerated for the very bare minimum of ensuring some form of QUALITY OF LIFE for an employee. I think that there are personal standards a manager deals with such as measuring performance and attitudes after the basic core requirements are established in an environment. furthermore: I think if a manager has fairly understood their crew and each members habits it is easy to understand how to go about creating the order and disciple desired in a place without imposing undue hardship on an employee; other Companies such as Zappos or that skateboarding Company which further tailor their environments to being friendly, fun, and exciting can answer this “quality” in a different way. I hear other Corporate locations look into providing perks and benefits, this is also common when moving up the ladder if you will. Other than that: I think that there is a must to hire people with INTEGRITY who do not think it is optional for them to follow the law and inflict measures of punishment onto people; I think these people are fortunate to have anything let alone think about moving up in way shape or form. There is nothing so special about any person on this planet to think they are the next MOB boss running a location. Mobsters and criminals.

    • Hi Tiffany,

      Thanks for your well thought out comment. It is true that a manager’s responsibility is large when it comes to hiring an employee. That is the start of the process that will set the tone for all things to come. Hire a great employee and all should be well.

      But with poor management, even the best of employees will turn at some point.

  2. Great subject. I have 65 employees and I am at the Hotel business since 1984. I am Hotel General Manager 15 years. Thank you , I am new subscriber and great follower of you.

    • Hi Tijen,

      I bet with your experience, you have had many opportunities to “turn around” poor performing employees and those that don’t care. Glad you are part of my team and thanks for subscribing! Hope to not let you down.

  3. Steve, I don’t actually have any employees, but if I were in the position of having a few, I would try to the best of my ability to keep the “work” and the “personal” in the perspective they each belong in. No one should have to work all the time, but there are people out there who find that work IS their idea of fun – being challenged, solving a problem, etc. It’s like doing the New York Times Saturday crossword puzzle to them, but on the other side of the coin are those who want to have fun all the time – at work, at home – it doesn’t matter to them, but it can be very inappropriate in the workplace!
    I had always been told by my bosses from my working past, that there was a time for fun, but when we needed to work – well, we needed to WORK! A job is serious business – even at Walt Disney World! Can you imagine if a Cast Member operating an attraction like Big Thunder Mountain decided to goof (no pun intended!) around when they should be paying attention to what was happening around them? It doesn’t bode well for anyone!
    All in all, if you’re at a company picnic and you want your employees to have fun, let each of them seek fun and relaxation in their own way – be it playing softball ….or tackling the problem that’s been plaguing their office for a week – it’s relaxation for relaxation’s sake!

    • Hi Lisa,

      Based on your past comments here and on LinkedIn, it is easily realized that if you DID have employees they would be treated fairly, professionally and respectfully Lisa.

      Your common sense approach and customer service attitude is sorely missed in many business settings.

      I hope good things come to you, thanks for today’s comment.

      • Thank you very much for those kind words, Steve. I try hard to be available and attentive to the customers (who I see as Guests, thanks to my Disney role experiences!) and to my co-workers as well…be they bookstore personnel, maintenance, administrative or custodial. After all, we are all well versed in our fields and all deserving of respect and admiration for what we can do!

  4. If I really thought that my employer did not care about me, I’d find a way to move on to another job, just like I have done in the past. I work really hard for every penny I earn, and I believe that regardless to what the job is, I will do my best in any company/organisation BUT if you have bad leadership, poor training, a boss whose only interest is ££$$$$£££$$$ and not about the people they employ, coupled with giving you a low wage, then vote with your feet I say.
    We are so focused on the big name successful companies sometimes, but if you really think about it, they are only great because of the folk who never get mentioned who are working hard like dogs in the background.

    • Rum Punch,
      You are correct that when we forget that the employees actually deal with the customers and THEY are the stars and NOT the management, we will fail. Overall attitude, morale, work environment, pay rate, etc. do more to improve service than training and any fancy gimmicks.

      Thanks for your comment.

  5. Steve, another great post. I, too, am convinced you can’t begin to satisfy customers with disengaged employees. As you pointed out, it is our obligation as managers to offer our employees the tools and training to deliver the kind of service our customers expect from us. I say, “If the only thing your employees get out of their job is a paycheck, you, as a leader, have failed.”

    • And it starts with hiring motivated, engaged and welcoming employees in the first place. A bad hire is like a bad foundation of a house. Once cracks are there from the start there is a good chance they will get bigger.

      Thanks Bill for your comment.

      • In the good majority of Restaurants I step into to reorganize (I have a food and beverage consulting firm) there is a low moral issue. Many times this is because the business isn’t doing very well (reason why I am there now) and the stress felt by the owners has matriculated down to stress on the staff. Or simply because the operators don’t understand my golden rule (besides always be honest & legal in business) is A Happy Staff is a Happy Guest! If you show respect appreciation and true honor for your staff they will always take very good care of your Guests! The rest is up to you as an operator to make sure your COGS & budgets are created and adheooered to correctly! Then the Profits will come- if you fail at this there is a very high probability that your business too will fail!

        • Hi Christina,

          You are so correct that a happy staff is a happy guest. But within my 25+ years in the industry it seems more difficult for owner/operators to realize this.

          Maybe it’s because of the challenges keeping the COG’s in line, labor issues, regulations, employee retention, etc. It’s understandable that the employee is not foremost in the owners mindset. But how did the businesses of “yesterday” do it? It comes down to the “golden rule” and doing what’s right, first.

          Do this first and build the infrastructure. The profits and all that come with it will be next. Thanks much for your comment and visiting my blog.

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