This business coach post explains this sad truth: Common sense is dead.
In order to turn a profit, you must begin to accept the fact that common sense is no longer common. In this business coach post, we will discuss the importance of establishing systems. You must set up systems to ensure that many of your employees don’t have to think, and you must do this as much as possible. You must be like the fast food companies, which have actually set up a system for filling up small, medium, and large sized cups to decrease spillage. You must think more like the city of New York, which has decided it is now illegal for people to order a large sugary carbonated beverage because too many New Yorkers are drinking so many per day that they are now developing diabetes. You must post labels on the side of HOT COFFEE POTS that say, “HOT TO THE TOUCH.” You must put signs on your company microwaves that say, “EXPLOSION DANGER. DO NOT PUT SILVERWARE INTO THE MICROWAVE.” You must find software that includes predictive text to prevent MASSIVE SPELLING ERRORS from going out to the masses. YOU MUST NOT EVER THINK THAT ANYTHING IS “COMMON SENSE” or you will soon find yourself BEING SUED BY AN IDIOT who was “UNAWARE THAT SILVERWARE COULD NOT GO INTO A MICROWAVE.”
We live in a society where school systems are now taking hours and hours of study time to teach kids that if you they have sex with each other, someone could get pregnant. My friends, I’ll be the first to admit that I am not America’s smartest man, but we are at an age of unprecedented American stupidity. Consider the fact that when Newsweek Magazineasked 1,000 American citizens who the Vice President of our country was, 29% were clueless as to what his name was. My friends, I recently had to conduct a quasi-business-coaching-workshop for employees (at one of my companies), who were unable to address an envelope correctly. Is it their fault that they are just clueless? At this point, it really doesn’t matter. The fact is that they now work for me and I’m going to have to take a proactive business coach approach when it comes to teaching new employees how to mail things properly.
Verify the Insanity At: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/03/20/how-dumb-are-we.html
My friend if you and I were wanting to write a comedy movie about all of the things that employees have ever done, I’m sure we’d all have endless and hilarious stories to tell. However, because we are trying to turn a profit, our stories are becoming modern day business coach tragedies. Trust me, I know that employees will do crazy things, and when they do, it’s not funny at the time or maybe even now. However, I also know that it is always funny to watch someone else get punched or kicked in the crotch. So, I thought I would take a brief moment (for some comic relief) to list a few crazy things my employees have done, which has personally shown me how little “common sense” is left in America. These examples of idiocy have cost me a lot of money and time, yet I think they will be funny for you to read. To me they are just infuriating. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to laugh as you witness me getting kicked in the crotch repeatedly at close range:
Excuse me sir, could you help me lift the heavy stuff? After a wedding reception, one of my employees that had just DJ’ed, actually walked up to the father-of-the-bride, who had just witnessed his beautiful-little-princess-daughter’s wedding day, and said some variation of the following, “Um excuse me sir. It’s really been an honor working with you tonight. Well anyway, this equipment is really heavy, and I just wanted to see if you could help me carry out the big stuff to my car?” Apparently, the Father of the Bride was so shocked by his request that he actually assisted our idiot DJ with the carrying of his equipment. The Monday morning after the wedding, I found out from the venue, the bride, the guests, and the mother-of-the-bride of the employee’s idiocy. When I asked the employee what he was thinking he said, “Man, I was really tired and when I asked him he said yes. You know, come to think of it, I don’t think that this topic was ever even really covered in our new hire handbook.
So I’m going through a divorce, but I hope your marriage works out. I had one of my employees decide to open up and share about his recent divorce while engaging with the bride and the groom at their wedding. They said, “Hey, thanks for entertaining tonight!” And he said, “Well, enjoy it while it lasts. Most marriages don’t last you know. In fact, I’m recently divorced.” When I asked him why he would say that kind of thing to a couple he said, “Well, I think they just needed to know where I was coming from and I’d rather be honest about how it really is, man.”
I need more hours, but could I take the next couple of days off? I had one employee schedule a time to meet with me because he was “financially struggling.” I knew what his paychecks were each week, so I wasn’t sure why he was having financial difficulties, so I asked him, “What’s going on?” He said, “I really am in pinch financially right now because of some things going on outside of work, so I could really use some extra hours.” After I agreed to find some extra work for him to do, he then said, “Hey, I need to request off tomorrow and a couple days off next week to deal with some personal issues. And I already promised I would take tomorrow off for my wife’s birthday.”
I think it’s more romantic when we meet with brides in the dark. When our team meets with clients, they are trained to have the presentation office looking clean, neat, and orderly. Well we soon discovered that one of our employees had a whole different take on what it mean to keep the office “clean, neat, and orderly.” We discovered that he liked to meet with all of the clients in the dark. Obviously, as soon as I found out I asked him, “What are you thinking man? What is going on in your head?” His response was classic, “Sir, I feel that if we meet with the brides in a setting with lower and more dim lights, it’ll be more romantic.”
Excuse me, I know you’re 16, but could I date you? We had to fire one employee for really going above and beyond. After a wedding reception we had, one of our former DJ’s ask a girl out on a date. He was 35. She was 16. She said no. Then the daughter-of-the-bride told her mother (the bride) about the DJ’s advances. When I subsequently found out about the situation from the post event survey, I asked the man what he was thinking and his response was pure insanity. He said, “Well, I wasn’t going to do anything.
Look, I didn’t mean to look at porn, I was just wanting to update my facebook status. I did consulting with one restaurant that actually had to fire a guy for looking at pornography while checking out a customer at the register (no pun intended). When he confronted the employee about looking at pornography on his smartphone while collecting payment from a customer he responded, “I honestly didn’t even know what site my phone was on. I just pulled it out to update my Facebook status.”
Look, I’m paying child support for 3 people here, you’ve got to pay me more! We had one employee who came to us and said, “You guys are not paying me enough and you guys are not treating me fairly or paying me what I’m worth. I can barely support myself.” I responded by saying, “Well you make well over $1,000 per week. Where is your money going?” He said, “Well I’ve got another baby on the way and I’m already paying child support to two other ladies.”
I do show up two hours late every day, but I do always show up. At one of the companies I did consulting with, I had to advise the owner to fire one of their managers because “he was not setting a good example for his team and was not being diligent about completing his work related responsibilities.” When we sat down to talk to him I said, “Brother, you show up to work two hours late per day. You don’t help out your clients in a timely manner and you never respond to your emails or voicemails.” He sincerely responded, “Hey look I don’t know why you guys are treating me so unfairly. I do eventually show up every day.”
I would like to work in your call center, but I refuse to make outbound calls. At one company I did consulting for, there were three team members who applied and were hired for a position working in a CALL CENTER. Within two weeks on the job, the three of them had joined together in their refusal to make outbound calls. I arranged a meeting with them to confront the three and I said, “Hey ladies, what’s going on with you all not making calls? I’ve heard you are actually refusing to make calls.” One of the girls confidently responded by saying, “Well, I think we do better when we meet with people face-to-face.” I had a hard time not laughing, but I responded and said, “When you applied to a position in a call center, what did you think you were applying for?” Their idiocy was truly unbelievable to me.
I didn’t know that I couldn’t listen to music that contains endless expletives while working. We hired one guy who lasted about two days at work. He wore a shirt and tie as required by our dress code, but he also wore a hat (with the tag still on it) that he cocked to one side to show everyone at the office his allegiance to the “street life” while working. He then proceeded to wear basketball shoes with laces untied. I asked him, “Hey, why are you wearing a hat to the office? We have a shirt and tie environment.” He said, “Oh, I didn’t realize we couldn’t wear a hat and basketball shoes with our dress clothes.” The next day while working, he was listening to gangster rap that was spewing out curse word after curse word in rapid succession. I told him to turn it off and he sincerely looked at me and said, “I didn’t realize that we couldn’t listen to music at work.”
Look, no one ever told me that I couldn’t spit sunflower seeds on the floor while working. We had one employee who did great in every area of his job, but he would literally spit sunflower seeds on the floor in front of him while working. I told him to stop and he told me that he was “offended” for me always coming down on him “about little things.”
I can’t believe that you are making me wear makeup and do my hair every day I come to work. During one meeting I was having with a client whom we were helping to turn around her business, we told all of the female and male employees that they would now be needing to follow the new presentation system when meeting with each client. We also told them that we expected both the men and women to dress professionally when in front of the clients. One woman said defiantly, “Are you trying to tell me that I have to wear makeup and do my hair every day before coming to work?” I fired her on the spot because you just can’t fix dumb.
My friend, moving forward as you continue hiring more and more people to accommodate the expansion of your company, you must realize that you are going to have to start with the business coach basics here. You and I can’t go around frustrated all the time because we thought this or that was common sense. In order to be successful in your business endeavors, your team is going to have to devote some quality time business coach and training people on things you thought were “common sense.” In order to teach “common sense” systematically, you must take the following action steps.
Step 1 – Make an “Employee Handbook” that covers everything! This handbook should cover the following business topics: Your company’s overall mission statement and vision, appearance requirements, attendance expectations, the company’s history, conflict resolution, employee hygiene requirements, grounds for termination, internet usage, pay expectations, sick day policies, smartphone usage, smoke break policies, what your company considers to be sexual harassment, and everything else that you think should be “common sense.” You might even want to put a little reminder in there for everyone to brush their teeth every day. We once hired a sharp looking dude with a good resume who didn’t quite seem to know that was required.
Step 2 – Make sure this book is as small as possible and that it is required reading for all of your employees.
Step 3 – Create a test that they must pass to prove that they have actually read the “Employee Handbook.”
Step 4 – Have all of your employees sign a “Work Agreement” which states that they have read the “Employee Handbook,” that they have passed a test about it, and that they know what is considered grounds for termination.
If you need help drafting your company’s handbook, please contact our business coach team through our website at www.thrivetimeshow.com, and we will coach you through this terrible, mind-numbing, soul-sucking process of stating the obvious, so that you don’t get sued when morons (one-third of the American workforce) do dumb things.