I’m lucky enough to work with a lot of good-hearted contractors. What I know is contractors in general, despite the skewed view of the media to the contrary, want to do the right thing for their customers and their community.
Nothing is 100%, but far and away the majority of the contractors I have worked with over the years have been good people. Many of them run a faith-based business that not just serves the company and its customer but an even higher purpose and goal. All of which I feel doesn’t get enough attention by the media.
Over-reaching to do good
There is a time that over-reaching to do good by a company can be problematic. An example is when you choose to hire the down-and-out or those who have gone astray and that’s when it can all backfire. Hear me well, I do believe in second chances but within reason.
The place to start is to ask yourself the hardest questions and they are, “Would I feel comfortable with this person serving my own home if my kids were home alone?” Or, “Would I be comfortable with this person driving one of my vehicles and my own family was out on the road driving or crossing a street?”
If the answer is no, steer clear of this whole area. Also, ask yourself, “What repercussions are there for me and my company if this person with a negative history does wrong?”
It’s a great topic for debate. What’s not up for debate is that a wrong consequence can sink a company. So, if you’re still inspired to take on these types of challenges when you recruit and hire, you have to go much further in being attentive to any falling off the wagon in a very proactive way.
One of my clients recently hired a person who had a troubled youth and was trying to reform his ways. My client prides himself on giving second chances, but this time he found out that he wasn’t diligent enough in staying proactive as I had instructed him to be when it comes to all his employees.
He knew that this recruit he ended up hiring had a troubled past. That’s because my client participates in a training program to help people get their life back together. He felt he was doing good and he was. However, things didn’t go so well and things ended up in a big mess.
I feel this was not just the staffer who went wrong, I also feel my client is at fault, too. My client only found out that this was this guy’s fifth DWI and that he had stockpiled 15 tickets because the got pulled over by the police who called him. They called because the employee had to give information about where he worked or they planned to lock him up.
My client met with him the next day and at this meeting the employee confessed that his addictions still plagued him and that he had dropped out of his support group, but he pledged to do better in the future and begged for another chance.
I let my client know that this is such a serious violation of everything that’s in the manual and what is taught during recruiting, hiring and orienting that I see no wiggle room. I also reminded my client that it’s a good lesson for the next time to be proactively running ongoing DMV checks on all licenses for employees driving company vehicles just like it says in his management manuals.
Remember, good habits can very easily fall away!
Practice good policies and procedures
Okay, what should you do if you want to do good and not end bad?
Ultimately, there should be good policies and procedures on alcohol and drug issues at your company. They need to be reviewed by either a good labor lawyer or a good HR company because there is a lot of legal issues to account for, not to mention the potential black eye if and when something goes wrong.
And although I believe in second chances, I believe you must go the extra mile to do it right. You don’t wander into a dangerous precedent. It’s scary to think he was driving like this and we didn’t pick up on it.
Doing good can end bad if you’re not willing to be super proactive and overzealous in paying attention to the effect it can have on your company, your customers and the rest of your staff
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