High Maintenance Employee is Wrecking My Business


Hi there, I’m Angela Brown in this is Ask
a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house
cleaning question and I get to help you find an answer. Today’s question comes from a boss who has
an employee, and the employee has some… we’re going to
say serious issues. And the serious issues we’re going to call
A.D.H.D. for lack of a better term. The boss does not know if the person has clinically
been diagnosed with that, but she’s exhibiting those types of behaviors. So, she’s bouncing off the walls. She has super high-energy. She starts projects for cleaning that she
never finishes before she moves to the next project. So, someone has to come in behind her and
finish the cleaning projects that she started. She talks and chats incessantly and it’s all
this high drama that comes from her lousy life. So, every day when she shows up she’s crying,
she’s in tears, she’s moody and there’s all this drama that she’s dumping on the other
co-workers and dumping on the customers. So, the co-workers who are cleaning with her
on her team are leaving and going to other parts of the house. But they can’t leave her alone because they
have to come back and clean up after her because she doesn’t finish the projects she starts. Lots of problems. The girl is also a smoker, like a chain smoker,
so she’s constantly taking breaks to go outside and smoke. So, they’re losing a lot of productivity and
a lot of time. And the boss wants to help this girl because
she feels sorry for her wants to make sure she has a job. But she says well “What am I supposed to
do? Can I legally fire this girl? Or do I have to hire her and keep her employed
because she didn’t technically do anything wrong?” Yikes! That’s a tough question and the answer is
going to come back to how did you set up your business when you hired her? If you set up the business with a specific
set of rules and regulations that were in writing. That were verbally explained to her and she
signed off on them, you have a lot more power than you think you do. If you didn’t do any of those things, you have a whole lot less power than you think you do. So, you can fix the scenario but you need
to start today. Today, because there’s a problem. (I forgot to mention that the boss has lost
several customers because the customers are ticked off with this girl’s antics.) So she’s losing business as a result of it. Okay having said that, it needs to be documented. That needs to be documented. That needs to be put in writing. There needs to be a face-to-face with that
employee. And she needs to sign off on that she understands
that some of the customers have canceled because of her behavior. Along with that, you can create a new set
of rules and regulations. And those rules and regulations can specify that you don’t bring any drama to work with you. Yes, we all have personal problems. If you get to know any of the people that
you work with, or any of the homeowners whose houses you clean, you’ll find a whole lot
of heartache. Life is tough. And so, yes, people have sadness. And there are things that they’re working
through. But the truth is, as an employee, as a house
cleaner, your co-workers, and your clients, and your boss are not your therapists. Okay? If you are having that much drama and that
much personal commotion in your life, you need to call in for a wellness day. And you need to go to a professional therapist
so that you can get the therapy that you need. And so, as a boss, you might want to give
her the day off. And say “Here’s someone that I recommend
that you go see professionally for all of these challenges. But starting today it’s no longer acceptable
in my company.” “I cannot lose customers because you showed
up and you dumped all of this stress and all of this chaos, and all of these personal problems
and drama on a customer.” “The customer works out of their house they
have conference calls they have things that they need to be doing that earn the money
to pay us for the cleaning.” “And you can’t go in and expect this person
to resolve all of your problems that’s inappropriate.” And that needs to be in writing. That needs to be explained verbally to your
employee, and that employee needs to sign off on that. Then you need to give them a copy give them
a copy that they signed, so they know and they remember that they signed it. They can’t say “why I never saw that.” Then a copy of that needs to go in their personal
file. Now when you first hire a person there’s usually
a window, 30 days – 90 days where it’s a probationary period. In our company, we call it a showcase. Where you get to showcase your talents and
your skills. And at the end, we decide if you’re a good
fit for the company. If it the end of that probationary window
that person is not a good fit for the company, it’s already spelled out in writing. They’ve got 90 days to prove themselves. If at the end of the 90 days there’s all this
other weird stuff going on. You’re completely in alignment if you decide
to let them go. I know that you’re trying to help this person. It sounds like you have a really good heart,
and I love the fact that you’re trying to give her a second chance. But the problem is it’s costing you business. And it’s costing you, employees, because the
employees want to go somewhere else. They want to be reassigned. They don’t want to work with her. So that becomes a huge issue now because it’s
affecting your bottom line by losing customers. It’s affecting your coworkers who don’t want
to work with her, and it doesn’t sound like she’s very effective if you have to come in
behind her and clean up the work that she started but never finished. So, having said that, I hate the fact that
you’re in the situation. But I do suggest that you show some tough
love because as an… and a lot of parents fall into this trap. They’ll tell their kid “if this happens,
then here’s the consequence.” And then when the kid does this, just pushing
the boundaries, they don’t follow through on the consequence because they love their
kids. And they forgive them and then give them another
chance. So that’s completely normal that’s human behavior. But as a business owner you cannot afford
to do that Because the employees will push and push and
push and push. And every time you do not keep your word and
follow through on a consequence. It not only weakens your integrity but it
weakens your power as a boss. And so, in my company, I’m a taskmaster. I’m a real stickler for the details. If we had a conference and you agreed to this
particular set of rules and regulations and you signed it, I expect you’re going to follow
through on those. And if you don’t these are the consequences
that we both agreed to in advance. We both agreed to them this is a business
decision it’s not an emotional decision it’s a business decision. If you broke those rules these are the consequences. Now people may not like working for me, but
they love working for my company. And the reason being is I do exactly what
I say I’m going to do. You can count on me if I give you my word
it’s as good as gold it matters because I gave you my word and I follow through on it. And so, people know what they can expect when
they push those boundaries, bam! Here’s the consequence. And they’re like “Wow she was not kidding. She’s not she’s not messing around.” And I know exactly how far they can push. And it allows me to run a business with people
that I’ve worked with for years. And I love the people that I work with. And the people that work with me may they
may not love me, but they love working for my company because they know exactly what
to expect. So, if this is bringing your business down
it is time already, like yesterday, to make some new rules. And implement them and to follow through. So, I’m going to cross my fingers this works
out. I’m going to say a little prayer that it
all goes smoothly. And I want you to keep me posted. let me know how it goes because I’m here rooting
for you. Alrighty, and that’s my tip for today. And until we meet again, leave the world a
cleaner place than when you found it.

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2 thoughts on “High Maintenance Employee is Wrecking My Business

  1. Nice tips! Always enjoy your videos. I have a question. How should i establish personal safety in someone's house while cleaning when working alone, especially with very many bad incidents happening at people's homes. Also as a woman trying establish a business, should i deal with the woman of the house?

  2. What do you do with a high maintenance employee that always brings drama and commotion to work, do you:
    A: Fire them
    B: Give them a day off to work out their issues
    C: Give them a warning/put on probation and document their issues
    D: Other
    Show less
    REPLY

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