Sometimes we use our energies wrongly. Instead of using our energy and power positively, we expend it negatively. In particular, a lot of people all over the world spend a lot of time destroying and damaging others. We need to change our attitude and begin to build others. People, let us build other people, not damaging them.
Sometimes, we rush to condemn others instead of helping them to grow personally and professionally. There is a particular chance for any boss to build his or her team members. When they get it wrong or when they fail to impress, that is an opportunity to instruct them how to do it better next time. Punitive measures are not the only and certainly should not be the default way to deal with staff that do wrong.
I remember chatting with a friend who has long experience in sales with at least four big international brands where he has held several managerial and executive jobs in sales. One time, he had a challenge with the conduct of drivers that were taking trucks for deliveries to his distributors across the country in Eastern Africa.
The drivers would be wasting time looking for a chance to sell fuel from the trucks on the way. In the process, not only was the company losing out on fuel costs, but also this meant that on average, drivers were only doing one delivery per day instead of the planned average of three round trips per day.
One day, this friend of mine found one driver who was offloading some fuel to some villagers on his way to a distributor. The sales manager took pictures of what was happening and had a quick chat with the driver. Upon arrival at the office, the sales manager invited the gentleman for a discussion. He explained to him the implications of what he was doing, implications on the company, but also on the driver because he was on the verge of losing his job and becoming jobless, losing his ability to fend for his family.
He further explained to him how he would be able to make much more money and clean money for that matter by working hard to do three deliveries every day. The company had a policy that drivers were given good incentives by way of instant cash bonus for any deliveries beyond the first delivery every day. In addition, drivers were given provision of some small percentage of the goods in case of breakages. In most cases, there were actually few or no breakages. Drivers were not required to return or declare or reconcile the left over goods from the provision lot.
This driver fully understood the sales manager. He changed his attitude instantly and started doing three sometimes even four trips in a day, instead of only one trip. He stopped stealing fuel and he became trusted and loyal to the company. He now even became an ambassador and champion to other drivers on how they could make “clean” money by way of working hard and focusing on speedy delivery of goods to do more trips every day.
The sales manager told me that the changed driver was now a productive and value-adding employee of the company. By recruiting other drivers to join his change in conduct, the gains the company made in terms of reduction on fuel losses and increase in sales revenue due to increased daily deliveries per driver were visible to everybody.
The great thing was that this was a win-win transformation where even the drivers were gaining in terms of more cash that came from the bonuses that they received. All this happened because the sales manager wanted to build, not to destroy people.
Remember that when you have a choice between destroying and building people, give chance to building people. Of course, like everything else, there is a limit to this; otherwise there would be chaos and anarchy. If the limit is crossed, a leader may still have to suspend or dismiss staff. But try to give them chance first. All the best as you work to build people!