I am an amateur gardener: just how much of an amateur will soon be clear. My organic vegetable plot, fortified only by kitchen compost, grows whatever fruits and vegetables reseed themselves. This year I have slicing tomatoes, grape tomatoes, plum tomatoes: all in colors from yellow to red. But the best surprise was this watermelon vine. By early July it had this 6 inch fruit and I was psyched. EVERYONE in my house likes watermelon.
I let it take over. It climbed over my precious tomatoes and stunted my peppers with its shade. By the time I realized it was a pumpkin vine, it was too late. It’s mid August and I’m harvesting jack-o-lantern pumpkins at an alarming rate.
What does this have to do with your business? As an entrepreneur, you need to tend to your workers better than I tended my garden. You need to pay attention to the dynamics of your staff. If one employee gets disgruntled or insecure, discontent can fester faster than it took a pumpkin vine to strangle my garden. Pay attention to your employees’ interrelations and be prepared to step in. Nip it in the bud, as they say.
- When your employees interact, they should talk in a respectful manner, be willing to listen to differing opinions, and be tactfully honest.
- When things go wrong, your staff should focus on fixing the problem instead of hurrying to assign blame.
- Compliment your employees when you see them doing a good job. Ideally, they will pick up on your positive reinforcement and do the same with each other.
- Insecurity can wreak havoc on relationships. An insecure person will pick on others, often in the guise of “just messing around.”
- Negative people are exhausting. People who can’t shut up while you are trying to think are exhausting. Often they are the same person.
- A lazy worker in a group of hard workers will foster discontent.
Check in often with your employees. Focus on your goals for the team. Reinforce the good habits, and when you see employees who are fostering discontent, let them know. Likely they have no idea of the problems they cause. Like my pumpkin vine – they are just doing what they do.