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The New Stuff

Did You Inherit a Nightmare?

In this time where businesses are being gobbled up or acquired, sometimes we overlook the people who won't be part of the million dollar payout...the employees.

Over the last couple of months I have watched as one company took over another. The fallout was not pretty, but that is for another blog post. But he is one of the main things I have seen, the new place inherited a culture. What do I mean by that? The way the staff was under the old management, the new management got.

It seems like all chocolate and roses when you get a group of people already trained in their job, but that is only if they were trained correctly in the first place. And, second, how these people respond to each other. Oh, and third, do the clients you serve respect them. Hmmm.

Lets talk about the problems just for a moment, and then we will turn it around. The main problem the new company acquired was a group of people the clients did not trust or respect, and the staff did not trust or respect each other. The previous management had incited them to become backbiters (snitches), they then used that information to turn them against each other.

How do you turn it around? In some cases, you have to get rid of the root. I am on record for saying gossips and snitches should be fired first, but since the management encouraged the behavior we have to undo the damage.

  1. Fire or move those employees who seem to have the biggest problem with letting go of the old way of doing things.
  2. Disrespecting each other is not an option, and it is disrespectful to backbite and/or to use each other in a manner that is inconsistent with the mission. Also precludes, sex with each other or clients. A few broken relationships or just a whisper about who is sleeping with whom can destroy a place's morale.
  3. Make expectations clear. You can't hold people accountable for what they don't know.

On the plus side, inheriting a staff saves a lot of time with hiring and training. They know who can or will do what, and what the result will be. Over time, as in this case, some weeded themselves out (quit or fired). It will take some time to undo some of the old ways, but those willing and able may then become your biggest assets.

Inheriting a staff can be a mixed bag, but with a clear mission and communication, it can work out for your good.