Today’s blog comes from Dave Chamberlain, CEO of Kovars Inc. He is a seasoned senior executive with experience in high-profile corporate environments and fast growing start-ups, including executive management positions at Gateway Computer and IBM. He is a proven leader with a consistent track record of success and is currently preparing for his 3rd degree black belt.The topic of how to work with a staff member who is having difficulties in their personal lives, is a common situation school owners face as a business. It's a tough issue to address because unless their problem is the death of a loved one, or a catastrophic illness, the staff member is likely still working in your school. The resolution can sometimes become hard to interpret and in-turn will put pressure on the staff and most of all, your students.
Of course we want to be understanding and offer any help or advice we can, but what if the issue they are having begins to impact their performance at work?
What works best is to offer whatever help we can, but to also make sure the staff member knows we still need them to show up and do their best, even if their best isn't at the same level as before. We have to remind them that sometimes we need to do things we don't want to do - along the lines of what Kyoshi Dave Kovar's dad used to say to him about mowing the lawn - you don't have to want to do it, you just have to do it.
Most importantly, we must let the staff member know that it isn't about the impact their attitude is having on the business, or revenue, because it's far more important than that. It's about the impact their attitude is having on your students and their experience. They should understand that there simply isn't anything that is a higher priority than that.
It is important to be compassionate, understanding and offer advice and help in getting them through their problem, but don't allow a staff member's personal issue compromise the quality of your student's experience. Ideally these reminders and your support should help alleviate the issue and possibly reassure the staff member.