Get In Front of Problems

Well folks, I just had what I call a “kneecap to kneecap” meeting with one of my key employees. This is an individual who has been with me for a while. I love her to death because she is wonderful in so many ways, but it was time to do some auditing. Those who’ve taken my Go Create Some Value workshop, will know that auditing is different than quality control. They’re both under the same umbrella of making sure that our quality is high, that we are a highly efficient, effective and high quality appraisal office. But with that comes making sure that we stay on top and quality control is a hundred percent. In other words when I talk about the term quality control, I’m talking about something that I do on every single thing.

For example, I quality control 100 percent of my appraisal reports. Anything that has my name on it goes through me, it never goes out of the office – I don’t care how late it is – without me going through it with a fine toothed comb. And it’s not something that I rush through, even when I’m in a hurry.

On the other hand, auditing has everything to do with spot checking. I call it auditing because I look at it much the way the IRS does your taxes. You do your best to be honest and thorough just in case you are audited by the IRS, but in reality, only about 3% of people and businesses are actually audited – at least that’s what I google. I do about 10 percent auditing in my office. No I’m not talking about taxes. I’m talking about everything! For example, phone calls. We record every phone call; both incoming and outgoing. Yes, it is legal in Idaho, and I spot check them. I make sure that my employees are being nice, that they’re talking kindly, that they are doing what I’ve trained them to do. I audit 10 percent of my emails making sure that my clients are getting the white glove treatment, making sure that we’re answering their questions and doing it in a kind manner. I even audit the bathroom cleaning.

I would say that 99 percent of everything this employee does is on the up and up and I told her “you’re a key employee and I appreciate all you do. But I have some concerns.” Next, I told her what these potential problems were that I had observed. One of my biggest drivers in the Myers Briggs area of things, if you’re familiar with those personality profiles, is harmony. I like harmony. I hate discomfort. I hate contention. I hate this buzz in the air that something’s wrong. But that’s all the more reason to do what I’m talking about today and that is get in front of the problems before they become catastrophes.

I have in the past, put things off too long because I don’t want to confront problems. It is uncomfortable. What happens is a molehill becomes a mountain because you don’t get in front of the problem before it becomes a real problem. What often ends up happening is somebody ends up fired. Somebody ends up losing their job. Somebody ends up being sanctioned and having issues because you didn’t get in front of the problem to begin with. So my encouragement today to business owners, those of you who either have employees now or are looking for new employees,need to remember that if you have some spidey senses going off, if the hair on the back your neck is standing up a little bit and saying there is a potential problem, don’t let the potential issue get in the way of dealing with it.

Today, I sat her down and said, “here’s some red flags in my mind. They may be unfounded but the pure number of them is causing me to be concerned and concerned enough that I felt like I needed to sit down and talk to you. You know that integrity is a big thing to me. Huge! I don’t care if you make mistakes, but integrity is a big big thing to me. I’m just asking that we make sure that honestly a priority moving forward.”

She was good-hearted about it. I think it went well. I felt like it was important to get out in front of it before it becomes a problem because I don’t want to let her go.

If you make the choice to utilize the Law of Delegation, remember that there’s a responsibility that comes with that and that means open communication with your employees – even if you only feel like there may be a problem. Talk to them. Get out in front of the problems before they become catastrophes.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode 304 Get In Front of Problems Before They Turn into Catastrophes

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