'It's not me, it's my staff, you just can't get good people these days!"
You'd be amazed how often I hear that and it's total rubbish.
As Sun Tzu said, if you want to be a good leader you must "cultivate your resources", and that includes your people. If you look around and think your staff could be better, you may be right, but guess who's fault it is... YOURS!
And... here's the bit that will really sting... that is definitely impacting the product or service you are delivering and turning customers away.
The bad news is that it IS all the leader's fault when things go wrong with staff. It really is true that you needed to manage better. The good news is that it IS all about the leader's behaviour and you, the leader can change that.
By the way, I don't mean firing people.
Every person you hire and then fire, or fire after taking over a leadership position, is your loss. You are letting money and time and effort walk out the door. Very inefficient and bad leadership.
If you want to calculate the true cost of firing someone a good rule of thumb is to take their yearly salary and double it if they are blue collar, triple it if they are white collar. That's how much you just cost yourself as a business owner or cost your organisation as a manager.
Those costs include:
- the price of recruiting again,
- overworked existing staff while you recruit,
- lost productivity while the position is vacant,
- lost knowledge of the work and the workplace (you just let this precious stuff walk out the door, a competitor will use that against you, you will lose even more market share)
- Cost of your time to interview a new person
- Training costs of training that new person
- If your staff are under an award where they get paid out, add that in too
It's not cheap, and it's NOT the easiest the solution.
Firing someone is essentially a self admitted leadership failure.
If you say it's not your fault, it's your staff, you're essentially giving up the one thing you can control - your own behaviour.
Which also happens to be the thing that makes the biggest impact!
So next time you're complaining about the people you manage, stop and think... that thing you're going to complain about is your fault, stop complaining and start helping your team members.
Advance your team = advance you. Hold back your team = hold you back.
Your team = you.
Follow Sun Tzu's advice and cultivate your resources.
That's what good leadership is all about.