Good Intentions Don't Pave the Road You Want

The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior - 20

Today’s Scene: The Bad

This one is hard because the Boss in question INTENDS to be a good Boss. Business owners believe they are doing the best they can today but tomorrow will be different. Really, some business owners are setting everyone up for failure. *** sad trombone**  I am sure YOU have never done this, but maybe you have known a Boss who has thrown new hires into the fire!

Let’s get into today’s scene.

Employee Newbie is excited. He accepted the job last week and today is his first day! He took the time to get to know the company and was very enthusiastic about helping the customers of the new company. The company’s mission was totally aligned with Employee Newbie’s own beliefs.

Boss Re Active was a visionary and inspiring in her approach. It sounded like the perfect job for his skills and Boss Re Active was anxious for the help. She seemed like a really nice person to top it all off. Gripping the door handle to his new adventure, he entered the office.




The door was unlocked but there was no one in the office.  In fact, most of the lights were still off. Worrying he got the time wrong, he calls out. Yelling from the back, he hears “I’m coming!’ Finally, around the corner, and talking a mile a minute comes Boss Re Active.  “Sorry! I was late getting in the office. Stayed up late with a client and am just barely awake.  Ok…let’s see. Where should we start?”.  Unsure if he is supposed to answer or if she is speaking to herself, he says trying to be helpful, “Maybe I could just sit at my workstation and get set up while you get settled?”

“Well, if you want to start there it would give me time to return some calls.  I was going to have you organize this office over here that I have been using for storage. After we get it sorted out, we should be able to create a work space in there for you.”

Employee Newbie looks down at the brand-new professional trousers he bought to impress for his first day. He thought, “I guess I overdressed for this gig.  Wonder what else I got wrong?”

Boss Action!

Today’s lesson: You knew they were coming. Be prepared for new hires.

Boss Re Active actually IS a nice person but she has not taken the time to consider how to help employees be successful. Boss Re Active was hiring because she needed help. There was no planning on how to fit the person into a company structure or preparation of tools for the new hire. She neither changed anything nor made a plan for work to be performed differently by herself or the new hire. 

Without making the plan and expecting a change with specifics to how the hew hire will work with previous workflows, business owners end up making a more stressful situation for themselves! They also sabotage this employee’s chance for success.

Expecting that “intended to be prepared” and “means well” explanations develop a loyal, engaged and long tenure in your team is folly. This lasting impression when handled as an afterthought will forever dim their enthusiasm for the job as they wait for the Boss to underdeliver. This aligned, enthusiastic and skilled employee, Employee Newbie, has already started planning an exit date – whether consciously or not. Bummer.

Some business owners feel they MUST wait until they are overwhelmed or someone quits to start considering the hiring process. While I disagree with THAT hiring strategy, you can review your current hiring process to be sure it does have a strategic on-boarding plan that INCLUDES first day protocols. As a Boss, I encourage you to get pro-active about setting up your hiring process. It will actually ease those hiring moments – even if you have to move re-actively sometimes. These simple first day efforts can result in the kick-ass team you dream about…I promise!

Scale on purpose,


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Talmar Anderson