High maintenance employee is a frazzled employee, with personal commotion, personal chaos, and personal drama.
If you have a high maintenance employee it might be time for a wellness day if they need to seek professional therapy.
A high maintenance employee will bring the entire company down. Before that happens, create new employee rules in writing. Get each member of your team to sign employee rules.
Update employee file and provide house cleaner training.
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru provides tips to help your small business thrive.
Listen: High Maintenance Employee Is Wrecking My Business
Watch: High Maintenance Employee Is Wrecking My Business
Question: High Maintenance Employee Is Wrecking My Business – Can I Fire Her?
Today’s question comes from a boss who has an employee, and the employee has some… we’re going to say serious issues.
And the serious issues we’re going to call A.D.H.D. for lack of a better term.
The boss does not know if the person has clinically been diagnosed with that, but she’s exhibiting those types of behaviors.
So, she’s bouncing off the walls. She has super high-energy. She starts projects for cleaning that she never finishes before she moves to the next project.
So, someone has to come in behind her and finish the cleaning projects that she started.
High Maintenance Employee is More Trouble Than She’s Worth
She talks and chats incessantly and it’s all this high drama that comes from her lousy life.
Every day when she shows up she’s crying, she’s in tears, she’s moody and there’s all this drama that she’s dumping on the other co-workers and dumping on the customers.
So, the co-workers who are cleaning with her on her team are leaving and going to other parts of the house. But they can’t leave her alone because they have to come back and clean up after her because she doesn’t finish the projects she starts.
Lots of problems. Very high maintenance employee. The girl is also a smoker, like a chain smoker, so she’s constantly taking breaks to go outside and smoke.
So, they’re losing a lot of productivity and a lot of time. And the boss wants to help this girl because she feels sorry for her wants to make sure she has a job.
But she says “What am I supposed to do? Can I legally fire this girl? Or do I have to hire her and keep her employed because she didn’t technically do anything wrong?”
Answer: Proceed With Caution in Firing Your High Maintenance Employee
That’s a tough question and the answer is going to come back to how did you set up your business when you hired her?
If you set up the business with a specific set of rules and regulations that were in writing. That were verbally explained to her and she signed off on them, you have a lot more power than you think you do.
If you didn’t do any of those things, you have a whole lot less power than you think you do.
So, you can fix the scenario but you need to start today.
Today, because there’s a problem.
(I forgot to mention that the boss has lost several customers because the customers are ticked off with this girl’s antics.)
So she’s losing business as a result of it. Okay having said that, it needs to be documented.
Document All Your Rules and Regulations For Employees
Document everything. Put all rules in writing. Have a face-to-face chat with that employee. Have her sign off on that she understands that some of the customers have canceled because of her behavior.
Along with that, you can create a new set of rules and regulations.
Specify in your new rules: “You don’t bring any drama to work with you.”
“Yes, we all have personal problems. If you get to know any of the people that you work with, or any of the homeowners whose houses you clean, you’ll find a whole lot of heartache.”
“Life is tough.
And so, yes, people have sadness. And there are things that they’re working through.
But the truth is, as an employee, as a house cleaner, your co-workers, and your clients, and your boss are not your therapists. Okay?”
“If you are having that much drama and that much personal commotion in your life, you need to call in for a wellness day. And you need to go to a professional therapist so that you can get the therapy that you need.”
Give Your High Maintenance Employee A Wellness Day To Get Her Act Together
And so, as a boss, you might want to give your high maintenance employee the day off. And say;
“Here’s a therapist that I recommend that you go see for all these challenges. But starting today it’s no longer acceptable for my company.”
“I cannot lose customers because you dump your chaos on them. It’s not our customer’s job to solve your problems.”
“Our customers need to work while we are cleaning, so they can earn money to pay us.”
“Chatting about personal problems to a customer is inappropriate and it needs to stop.”
All these new rules need to be in writing.
You can explain them out loud, face to face with your employee.
And the employee needs to sign your rules stating they understand and agree to them.
Keep Copies of Signed Agreements, New Rules, And Write Ups In The Employee’s File
Then you need to give them a copy give them a copy that they signed, so they know and they remember that they signed it. They can’t say “why I never saw that.”
Then a copy of that needs to go in their personal file.
Now when you first hire a person there’s usually a window, 30 days – 90 days where it’s a probationary period.
In our company, we call it a showcase. Where you get to Showcase your talents and your skills. And at the end, we decide if you’re a good fit for the company.
If it the end of that probationary window that person is not a good fit for the company, it’s already spelled out in writing. They’ve got 90 days to prove themselves. If at the end of the 90 days there’s all this other weird stuff going on.
You’re completely in alignment if you decide to let them go.
The Good Samaritan Doesn’t Put All The Other Employees At Risk
I know that you’re trying to help this person. It sounds like you have a good heart, and I love the fact that you’re trying to give her a second chance.
But the problem is it’s costing you business. And it’s costing you, employees, because the employees want to go somewhere else. They want you to reassign them. They don’t want to work with her.
So that becomes a huge issue now because it’s affecting your bottom line by losing customers. It’s affecting your employees who don’t want to work with her.
And it doesn’t sound like she’s effective if you have to come in behind her and finish her work.
So, having said that, I hate the fact that you’re in the situation. But I do suggest that you show some tough love.
A lot of parents fall into the trap of promising punishment along with broken rules. And they don’t follow through when the kids push the boundaries. Blame it on love for the kids, fear of being too harsh. Whatever. And without structure, they have nothing but chaos.
As a business owner, you can’t afford this type of chaos in your business. And just like children, employees will push boundaries to see how much they can get away with.
Tough Love Says You Have to Follow Through On Consequences
And every time you do not keep your word and follow through on a consequence. It weakens your integrity and your power as a boss.
In my company, I’m a taskmaster. I’m a real stickler for the details. If we have a meeting and you agree to a particular set of rules and regulations and you sign it, I expect you to follow the rules.
And if you don’t these are the consequences that we both agreed to in advance.
Executing those consequences is a business decision. it’s not an emotional decision it’s a business decision. If you broke those rules these are the consequences.
Now people may not like working for me, but they love working for my company.
And the reason being is I do exactly what I say I’m going to do. You can count on me if I give you my word it’s as good as gold it matters because I gave you my word and I follow through on it.
Employees Want Structure And Boundaries
And so, people know what they can expect when they push those boundaries, bam!
Here’s the consequence. And they’re like “Wow she was not kidding. She’s not she’s not messing around.”
And I know exactly how far they can push. And it allows me to run a business with people that I’ve worked with for years. And I love the people that I work with.
And the people that work with me may they may not love me, but they love working for my company because they know exactly what to expect.
So, if this is bringing your business down it is time already, like yesterday, to make some new rules.
Install them and to follow through.
So, I’m going to cross my fingers this works out. I’m going to say a little prayer that it all goes well. And I want you to keep me posted. let me know how it goes because I’m here rooting for you.
Alrighty, and that’s my tip for today. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place then when you found it.
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Resources From This Episode
101 Sample Write-Ups for Documenting Employee Performance Problems – http://amzn.to/2uaRstD
Dealing with People You Can’t Stand, How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst – http://amzn.to/2satG4C
Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees: How to Ignite Passionate Performance for Better Business Results – http://amzn.to/2satG4C
Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate Your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to Act! – http://amzn.to/2rVzESs
On Fire at Work: How Great Companies Ignite Passion in Their People Without Burning Them Out – http://amzn.to/2saqIwO
Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business – http://amzn.to/2tPyw4k
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