As I sat down preparing to write this post, I contemplated which topic I should choose to begin this new journey. Although my first instinct was to share my insights on social media and marketing, I felt drawn to write more about what the essence of what this blog is all about — It’s not on anyone else, it’s always on you. It’s about understanding the importance of self-awareness and being able to take full responsibility for your actions and their results.

How quick are owners and management to blame their employees for something not going as planned? Perhaps the assignment was not completed in a timely manner or wasn’t done the way they expected it to be? Maybe an email was too long or too short. Unfortunately, I’ve seen management obsess over the little things and the first kneejerk reaction of many is to place the blame solely on the “inadequacies” of their employees. However, allow me to propose that perhaps it is you who is at fault and the reason for the failure. Could it possibly be that you didn’t set them up to succeed in the first place?

The reality is that we live in an employee centric world (Sadly, way too many employers have yet to figure this out). As owners, we often think that the company will live or die solely on our shoulders but we need to realize that it’s the employees who are the lifeblood of the company. How many employers out there have taken the time to sit down with an employee and discover who they are and what motivates them? The truth is that very few employers devote enough of their time, if any, to understand what motivates their employees. Yet we continuously expect our employees to go above and beyond the call of duty and are frustrated if they are unable to put in the same sort of effort we expect of ourselves. Why should the employee care as much as we do? We have a vested interest to make the company succeed, whereas most employees are just working to get by and care only as much as they are required to get the job done adequately. Maybe we should start creating an environment that rewards employees who rise up and show that they care.

We have to ask ourselves, are we listening to our employees? Are we setting them up on a path to succeed or simply providing enough to coast by? How do we react when our employees fail to meet our expectations? Do we yell at them, demean them, ask them how they could possibly be so dumb (ok, that’s an extreme, but you get the point) or do we look at ourselves first and then sit with our employees to help them do their job better? Have you ever asked an employee “How can I help you do your job better?” Try it and you’ll be amazed at what happens.

There are so many reasons why your employees are not performing to your expectations but you have to understand that it’s most likely your fault. If you want your employees to work harder and care more about your company then it’s time to finally show some interest and start caring about them.