Tool #7 – Any Sandbaggers on Your Team?
Golfers who pad their handicap are often called sandbaggers.
They keep their handicap artificially high so they get a few extra
strokes from their opponents when playing match play. The term
'sandbagger' comes from the concept of filling your golf bag with
some sand so it's heavier than normal, causing you to get tired and
not play up to your potential. To keep their handicaps comfortably
higher than they should be, sandbaggers do little things like
missing short putts on purpose when they don't need to sink them to
win a hole. And then when they need to win an important match, they
take the sand out of their bag and play their best. Not an honest
way to play.
Business owners and managers have lots of things to do every day
to keep their ball rolling toward the target. They often get
overloaded and don't take enough time to do everything perfectly as
they know they should. After a while, they get in the habit of
doing things the easy or fastest way and take shortcuts to get
things done. This reduces their bottom line net results. Think of
the little things in your business you know you should do to play
your best game every day. When you don't follow sound business
principles, added costs, small problems or costly mistakes add up
and significantly weigh you down. This drags your bottom line lower
than it could be.
For example, when you keep poor employees on your payroll too
long or continually use the same supplier without getting other
bids, you are saving time but costing yourself money. When you
continue working for bad customers rather than seeking new ones or
not taking the time to focus on collecting your receivables fast,
you're saving time and losing small amounts of money that add up
significantly. When you do extra work without signed change orders
or only offer what is on the plans and specifications to get
awarded jobs, you are saving time while not maximizing your bottom
Whether you're too busy, stressed out or overloaded, you have
many options and choices available to do a better job or make more
money. Here is another tool to help you get out of the rough, back
on the fairway, make more putts and play up to your full potential
all the time. This will help you get the unnecessary sand out of
your bag and increase your bank account.
Clean out the dead wood!
Who on your crew or staff causes you the most grief, doesn't do
a good job or has a bad attitude? These poor performers are
infiltrating everyone on your team and bringing them down. Poor
performers should be cleaned out, fired and removed fast. Think of
employees as trees in the forest. When they die, run out of life or
stop growing, they become dead wood. Dead wood gets in the way, is
a fire hazard, and causes you to trip or fall as you move forward.
When you let the dead wood remain, you tolerate bad performance.
When you don't remove or clean out dead wood, other employees have
to put up with them, work around them, cover for them and make
excuses for them. Additionally, your good employees lose respect
for a boss who won't do what's right in a timely manner and accepts
less than the best from his people.
I know you're too busy to get rid of the dead wood employees and
find some new people to do a better job. I know you can't find any
good help. But, by doing nothing and walking by poor performers,
you're avoiding tough decisions and losing more money than you can
imagine. One dead tree can reduce your crew efficiency by as much
as 25 percent. Make a list of your employees and rate them on the
skills you need them to have to be efficient and proficient in
their duties. Also rate their attitude, teamwork and aptitude. And
rate them on their desire to take on more accountability,
responsibility and leadership. Through this process, you'll
discover your valuable employees, those who can improve and those
who shouldn't work for you. Who knows? You might also find that a
few 'oldtimers' or relatives are not on your 'keep' list.
It's not your fault that as many as 10 to 20 percent of your
employees might not be the right fit or suited to work for you or
your company. You shouldn't feel bad about realizing that not
everyone you hired was the right employee to work for you. You did
your best hiring them. But some people eventually didn't fit the
required job description or aspire to excellence in your company's
environment. In other words, a few of your employees are working at
the wrong place. It is not good for them or you, and they need to
move on and find a place where they'll contribute in a positive
way. Feel good about cleaning out the dead wood. It's good for you,
your employees and those who'll be leaving your company. So get out
your axe and trim out the dead wood. Then make it your priority to
find positive people who'll make your company a better place.
George Hedley is a licensed professional
business coach, popular professional speaker and author of "Get
Your Business to Work!" available at his online bookstore. He works
with contractors to build profitable growing companies. To request
your free copy of "Profit 101 For Contractors," sign up for his
free monthly e-newsletter, hire Hedley to speak, be part of his
ongoing BIZCOACH program, or take a class at Hardhat BIZSCHOOL
online university, visit www.hardhatpresentations.com or email