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Bill owned a tool and die shop and employed twelve people. He prided himself on his ability to get along with everyone, and be a friend to each employee. Bill believed everyone loved him, and his management style.

George worked in the office, and was prone to make mistakes. He continually wrote down phone messages incorrectly, and made bookkeeping errors causing customer accounts to be inaccurate. Additional expense was created when the books were audited.

Customer goodwill was lost when calls were not returned promptly and incorrect statements were mailed out. Bill would bring the mistakes to George's attention, but never took any further action.

We all have a human need for friendship, acceptance and love; however, a business has a need for "objective standards performance" to achieve the maximum success which will benefit staff and customers alike.

Following a pure "subjective" style will always fall short of optimum performance, and result in the organization and each individual's failure to grow into everything God would plan and desire.
- Steve Marr
Each manager must have good relational skills, and demonstrate a genuine interest in each staff member; however, a manager will have to decide whether "objective standards" or "subjective standards" will become the bottom line of their management style.

Paul instructed others to be, "doing nothing in a sprit of partiality" (1 Tim. 5:21 NAS). "You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial...but you are to judge your neighbor fairly" (Lev. 19:15 NAS) Jesus said, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24 NAS).

Most managers opt for the purely "subjective standard" style, believing they can obtain adequate performance by the power of their personal skills. Unfortunately, that style causes them to make their choices emotionally, rather than objectively

Following a pure "subjective" style will always fall short of optimum performance, and result in the organization and each individual's failure to grow into everything God would plan and desire.

SMART Objectives
Objective standards for staff will need to be SMART, Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Timed/Tied to the business.

Utilizing SMART goals provides many advantages to the organization, the manager, and the employee. Each employee knows where he or she stands. If goals begin slipping, the manager can begin to coach, mentor and assist the person to pick up the pace.

Victories may be celebrated while a manager helps staff improve. Raises and promotions are easier to determine based on performance. Without objective standards, how do we judge? Does everybody get the same?

Should an employee continue to fail in a position, an appropriate yardstick has been established with "objective standards". Should dismissal ultimately be required, the reason will be clear to a manager, the employee, and usually to most of the staff.

A SMART goal for George could be to decrease bookkeeping errors from twenty to five per week within sixty days; failure will result in his being put on probation, with eventual dismissal if the new standard is not met. Accountability is clearly established between George and his manager.

Some may view establishing and enforcing firm "objective standards" as harsh, however Scripture supports this perspective. When a person continues to fail on the job, and you have provided training and direction, they either cannot do the job or will not do the job. You may not know the reason, but the result is the same; failure.

Each of us is uniquely gifted by God and we will succeed when working in jobs which utilize these gifts. Scripture instructs, "...we have gifts that differ...let each use them accordingly" (Rom. 12:6 NAS) and Paul wrote "there are varieties of gifts" (1 Cor. 12:4 NAS).

God does not want us to struggle at work. When we continue to keep a failing employee, we are encouraging them to work outside God's will by keeping them from another job at which they would succeed.

Jesus gave an example in a parable: "What is this I hear about you? Give me an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be a steward" (Luke 16:2 NAS).

As a starting point, meet with each staff member and establish three SMART goals for each. Tailor each plan by agreeing on individual "objective standards" that need to be met. Then agree on a time frame for performance review and hold each person accountable as Scripture instructs.

Oftentimes, staff members are unaware of how their poor performance ultimately affects their employer. They must come to understand that if customers receive poor quality or service, they will be lost to our business. Customers will hold our business accountable for delivery, and we must also hold staff accountable.

When we allow staff to continue with poor results, we also harm them. Scripture relates, "For whom the Lord loves He reproves" (Prov. 3:12 NAS). When we correct staff and insist on quality "objective standards," we are demonstrating love. Confronting issues and insisting on change is demonstrating God's love.

As a manager ask yourself the questions, "Have I established "objective standards" for each person? Do I require my employees to stick to the plan and hold each accountable?" If not, confess that you, your staff, and business are not going to become everything God would want.

Turn around now, set SMART Goals and watch as your staff and business grow.

This article is used by permission from Steve Marr's Business Proverbs.
Steve's passion is to empower ministry and business leaders
with God's ancient Wisdom for enhanced performance and
excellence. He resides in Tucson, Arizona with his family.

Author Biography

Steve Marr
Web site: The Life
Steve Marr has learned from 40 years of business experience that God's way works. As an author, speaker and business consultant, Marr helps companies and organizations apply the ancient wisdom of the Bible to avoid the common mistakes and headaches of growing a business.

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