This short clip from SmallBusinessSchool.org is part of Lesson Three for the Labor Day Sunday curriculum produced by TheHighCalling.org and CenterforFaithandWork.com.
This is the story of Albert Black and his company, On Target Supplies & Logistics. It is also about miracles where people are transformed...
* Albert Black believes that holding people accountable is as critical a way to serve people as being patient. Why is this important to employees and the business?
* How would being fired be in an employee’s best interest?
ALBERT: I think what happens is, people would rather see a sermon than hear one. They'd rather that I walk with them rather than just show them the way.
ALBERT: But I think small business people cannot become the cookie cutter mold that oftentimes our corporate partners are. What we have to be is leaders that take risks, that we actually go out there and make a difference in people's lives. It's a matter of going in and making sure that the people that have trusted you with their career are getting the fair return for that trust that they put in you.
ALBERT: You see, nothing works like work. ... This is not welfare. This is work. There are some rules and conditions that we all have to go by. I think that what you have to do is be patient in the education piece of it by continuously informing and making people aware of what ramifications you being late have on the enterprise. And once people understand the dire condition that you can put an organization in if they're late, if they're still late, well, then, that means that they don't care.
HATTIE: So how do we get them to care?
ALBERT: You probably don't, Hattie. At some point, you have got to disengage and remove yourself from that relationship. It really is a situation called tough love. And whereas it sounds a lot more favorable for those of us in business to say that you continue to work with people. But at On Target Supplies And Logistics, we have something called a progressive discipline program. The first time a person is late, we sit down and talk with them and we let them know the ramifications of being late and how--what type of impact it has on co-workers and the enterprise, because everybody that's hired has a very important role to play in the enterprise. The second time, we actually write it up and put it in your personnel file. The third time, we'll suspend you for a couple of days. If the fourth time it happens and you're still late, we terminate your employment, and we figure out that one didn't work.
HATTIE: So it's OK to let someone go if they know the rules and they break the rules.
ALBERT: As a matter of fact, it goes beyond being OK. I really do encourage it. You see, the reality of responsibility has to be demonstrated throughout the relationship between employee and employer. Just because an organization has a big heart, doesn't mean that it has a small mind. It has to keep its eye on the bottom line. And when people are late, it's bad for the culture. It's because if it's permitted too much, what'll end up taking place is the culture becomes that of being late. At On Target Supplies And Logistics, we think that we're in the distribution business. We deliver on time. And if you're late at work, how can we possibly deliver to our customers on time?