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Key Idea: Use Tough Love

Albert Black says everyone needs to the learn the basic lessons of cause-effect.   More...

Key Question:

A: 

  Make the rules clear and hold people responsible for their actions.

Q:   Does Albert feel so sorry for new hires from welfare that he is soft on them?

A:   No. Remember he said, "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 contiguously informing and making people aware of what ramifications of action are. For example, once people understand the dire condition that they can put an organization in if they're late, if they're still late, well, then, that means that they don't care. At some point, you have got to disengage and remove yourself from that relationship. It really is a situation called tough love. It sounds a lot more favorable for those of us in business to say that you continue to work with people."

Q:   Is a person easily fired from On Target?

A:   No. But, they have a progressive discipline program. Albert explains, " 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 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.

Q:
Should a company lower its standard to accommodate an employee learning curve?

A:
No. I love what Albert says about this, "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. When people are late, it's bad for the culture. If it's permitted too much, what'll end up taking place is the culture becomes that of being late. We're in the delivery business. We have to be on time." What I learned from Albert is the rules really matter.

People want to take pride in their work and want rules by which to play the game. It is entirely fair to have discipline and structure that every person must conform to. Did you know that UPS drivers can't have hair touching the shirt collar, or sideburns below the ear lobe, and they must wear either white or brown undershirts and only the top button of their shirt can be undone and their shoes must be black or brown and polish able? And they must carry their keys on a key ring on the pinkie finger and when they bend over to pick up a package, they must bend from their knees and "bring the butt down"?

Sounds like a lot of rules. Do they work? I think so. UPS is an effective company that has grown by having plenty of rules in place.

Think about it

Are you too soft on employees?  Do your employees know you care about them?  Is there someone on your payroll now who needs to be fired?  Do people understand your expectations?  Are the rules clear?

Clip from: On Target Supplies & Logistics

Dallas: This is the story of Albert Black and his company, On Target Supplies & Logistics.  It is also about miracles where people are transformed; they learn about financial statements, become economically independent of debt, start serious savings, capture the power of principal-and-interest, and discover their deep-seated talents and gifts.   That's enough, but there's more.

 
You'll hear some of the most innovative human resource strategies from one of the most articulate people we know. And, you won't believe his results! This hard-nosed, well-grounded visionary lives, breathes, and acts on his two most basic faith statements, then asks for 100% and gives 125%.
 
Albert is a servant to his church and faith, his family, his employees, his community and his country.

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On Target Supplies & Logisitcs

Albert Black, CEO

1133 South Madison
Dallas, TX 75208
214-941-4885

Visit our web site: http://otsl.com

Office: 214-941-4885

Business Classification:
Distribution, office supplies

Year Founded: 1988

Use Tough Love

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?
 
 

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