“You’re not responsible for the irresponsibility of others.” Or, “You can only control you, not other people.” Both are great pieces of advice to live by. Except, when you’re in a position of leadership. When you’re in charge, you are responsible for the actions of others. It’s a stark contrast to the peer-to-peer world. Because, your employees aren’t your peers. Sure, they’re good people. But, they aren’t your equal. At least, in terms of business structure. You are the authority. So, when a team member is irresponsible, you’re the one the customer will blame. It’s not fair, but it’s reality.

Why Employees Act Irresponsibly

Everyone does something irresponsible at some point. But, there are people who just can’t seem to get it together long-term. However, these are the exceptions, rather than the rule, a tiny percentage by comparison. You might have even been one of them, but eventually “grew” out of that phase.

In almost every workplace, there is bound to be someone who isn’t pulling their own weight. When you’re an ambitious, hard-working [business owner] who is committed to growing your career and the company, it’s frustrating to work with someone who seems interested in only doing the bare minimum.
Fast Company

People act irresponsibly because they just don’t take their jobs seriously. To them, it’s just a paycheck — a paycheck they can get almost anywhere. Of course, this is very short sighted but it speaks to their mindset and overall attitude. When that personality shows up in your business, you’ll have to deal with it. There is no passing it off.

How to Deal with an Irresponsible Employee

If you’re in this unenviable position, you’ll need to deal with the situation directly. While it’s tempting to pass this off to a subordinate who is above the person in question, letting him or her know their behavior is known at the top is very powerful. (This alone could be enough to correct him or her.) But, it’s best to be clear. Here’s how to deal with an irresponsible employee:

What other suggestions do you have for dealing with an irresponsible employee? Please go ahead and share your thoughts and experiences by commenting!

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