Is it enough to hire my employees or must I "enroll" them?


I’ve seen it a hundred times and I’m sure you have, too. The kid behind the counter could not care less about being there. He’s having a lousy time. His service (or lack thereof) translates into a lousy time for you as a paying customer.

While it’s easy to blame the kid, I blame the manager. You see, this kid’s boss has let this kid exist in this way in this business. The manager has failed to do that which is necessary to ensure this kid will be successful. And if the kid simply can’t be successful, the manager has kept the kid around, which is also a failure. Worse, by doing nothing about it, the manager implicitly condones this kid’s behavior.

"But wait," some may say by way of objection, “Isn’t a paycheck enough?” No, no it is not. A paycheck is a transaction and it suggests that, once you’ve hired an employee, your work is done. In fact, once you've hired an employee your work has just started. Because it's relational.

Yes, in a perfect world, people would come to work fully formed. They would have all the skills they need. They would be ready to work. And they would be as enthusiastic on the 1,000th day as they were on the 1st.

Yeah, that’s great. If only it were that easy.

But it’s not that easy. It never is. The job of the manager is to ensure employees have everything they need (e.g., tools, skills, training, feedback, etc.) to be successful in the job. Further, it's the responsibility of the manager to ensure employees maintain the same level of enthusiasm for the work on the 1000th day as on the 1st. The old “you-get-a-paycheck-so-you-should-be-happy” management philosophy went out in the 1970s along with the “two-hots-and-a-cot” style of parenting.

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