One of the biggest challenges a startup would face after access to funding is Staff Indiscipline. Dealing with staff indiscipline is one of those topics not explicitly discussed in business forums because of the complexity of the subject.
There’s no one-size fits all approach to dealing with Staff Indiscipline. We can attempt to deal on a case by case basis after establishing the basics.
What are the basics?
The Startup Founder already deals with a lot of issues including lack of funding (which by far is voted the most challenging for African Startups).
Startups get the leftover of talents.
On the strength of lack of fund as a challenge – it’s easy to already see that they’re not the first destination for the best of talents. The implication being that the Startups end up with beginners who don’t understand the work place general culture or experienced people with saviour/favour mentality.
Dealing with staff indiscipline should start from the recruitment process. Because staff turnover is a huge cost – even if it doesn’t seem obvious initially – a startup founder should invest time to ensure that the right people were selected at the onset. You should research and find a way to test for values, character, cultural fit and competence.
Notice that competence came last? That’s because most smart people can become competent with the right values and character over time. Competence is however not unimportant.
Train and On-board
Once the right people have been selected, make time to train and Onboard them properly into your company. Part of the training should be to sell the company’s vision and mission. It’s generally believed that once people are invested in a vision, it helps them to prioritize. The training should spell out what infractions are and how they’d be handled when they occur.
Companies do this through a Hand Book – it doesn’t have to be a book. A list of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors within the company and every thing in-between in a sheet of paper is great. Some companies include a space for the employee to sign to show commitment – you can do so too.
Dealing with Staff Indiscipline for the beginner
I have people say deal with any bad behavior immediately and I agree. However, empathy must precede any correctional or punishment measure.
First try to understand what happened and why then apply your judgement within the confines of pre-agreed consequences. Most times the beginner may act of naivety – ensure that your handbook makes provision for first time offenders. This will help you to avoid losing your star beginners to your competitors after investing in their training.
Some Misbehaviours Are Delibrate
Some of them actually deliberately misbehave to get out of clauses that they feel is restricting them. You might want to provide a shadow backup for them at the earliest sign of misbehavior.
Dealing with staff Indiscipline for the experienced worker
When an experienced worker starts misbehaving, the indication most times is either that of frustration or protest. You may need to have a private discussion to understand what the issues are and deal with them as privately as possible.
If everything fails, quietly look for a replacement and release them according to your policy as soon as possible.
If you have something to contribute, so some with the comment box.