AP Poll: 45% Of Employees Don't Contribute to the Bottom Line

Access My FREE 5-Part Retail Sales Training Email Course!

The AP is reporting this morning the results of a phone survey of "1,000 randomly selected U.S. small businesses with revenue between $1 million and $200 million, 41 % said workers are paid for attendance rather than performance. Of those surveyed, 45 % said employees don't have any daily, specific or measurable goals. Meanwhile, 45 % said the employees don't contribute directly to the bottom line."

At first glance, it would seem that there are no standards but on second glance, it is unclear what question they asked on the survey. The most striking finding were the lack of goals and feeling they don't contribute.

And whose fault is that?

A business that doesn't see how every person directly contributes to the bottom line needs to have their collective head examined. The guy in the warehouse who knows where every single item is, can spot when a pick list is wrong and keep supplies going to customers, instead of writing backorder. The installer who finishes the job with a "Harumph" and complains to the customer he has two more jobs to do before going home, stops word-of-mouth from growing referral business. The CEO who says to a VP when a mistake is made by his secretary, "she's just a bag of hair," makes everyone concerned what is said behind their backs. The salesman that makes an extra call at the non-competing business next door to a client. I could go on and on but you get the point, everyone affects the bottom line; some contribute, some detract.

That's why so many businesses are struggling right now. Nobody knows where they are going or how employees fit into that mission. "Just try to keep your head above water," is hardly a rallying cry. So is it a mystery employees don't have measurable goals?

That might be all it takes. Though times are trying, many small business owners admit they're paying employees just to show up and not much more. That's your competition talking. Do better by rewarding performance, not inertia.