Jean Hubbard has been in business for four and a half years. Opening up her office supply store with virtually no capital, she worked night and day to make it a success. It grew and is now well accepted in the community.
Jean employs seven full time and two part time staff. Four of the full timers work in the back office, dividing and invoicing, stock ordering and billing work between them as it comes in. If anything out of the ordinary occurs, they call on Jean for assistance. They have been with Jean for the past three years and get along quite well.
The others, three full timers and two part timers, deal directly with customers and inquiries. Jean can usually be found in the store with them. The longest serving of these employees has been with Jean for 12 months and the newest for three months and two weeks respectively. Jean has noticed that the front of office staff seem to keep a lot more to themselves than the back office staff. They wait to be told what to do and don’t seem to help each other out unless she asks them to.
Jean wishes she could afford to work less and enjoy herself more. But things haven’t worked out that way. There always seems to be problems that she has to deal with permanently – customers don’t get what they order, or there is an employee with a personal complaint or grievance, staff not showing up for work at the right time.
Jean doesn’t know what to do. She wants to give her employees the authority to make decisions in the store operations, but she doesn’t feel that she can rely on them to do what she hired them to do. It seems that every one of them has complained about his or her job, indicating that they are all over-worked and under-appreciated. She always laughs when they start talking this way, telling them that what they need to do is roll up their sleeves and get to work. This usually shuts them up and they get back to their jobs.
Complaints such as; ‘we need a better washroom’ or ‘we want an area where we can sit down for a coffee break or eat our lunch’ always annoy her. She laughs off such ideas saying that this is a place of work, not a place for lounging around. To Jean, her employees just don’t seem to appreciate all that she is doing for them. They always want more.
Jean wants to have a prosperous business. She wants her employees to like her and each other. But she doesn’t know how to go about telling them she wants more from them. She has never been ‘good with words’ and she figures that her actions should tell them a whole lot more than any words anyway.
Develop a comprehensive performance management system to address Jean’s situation. Your system should include but not be limited to:
1) An induction process for each staff member relevant to their work area
2) A position description template for each staff member relevant to their work area
3) A series of KPI’s for each staff member that focus on structuring their duties
4) A performance review and appraisal system
5) A facility for Jean to provide positive feedback and encouragement on a regular and ongoing basis.
6) A reprimand and counselling system