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We recently got a phone call from a client who was pretty upset. It turns out we didn’t do what we said we would do.
Hey everybody, this is Erik Olson. I’m the CEO of Array Digital and you’re joining us for Journey to $100 Million.
This particular client had signed us up to do social media and to prepare a marketing engagement for a product they’re going to be rolling out in a couple of months. As part of our engagement, we were supposed to be teasing the product on social media. That was one of the many things that we were supposed to do.
Well, we made the decision to give the responsibility to one of our interns. And it turns out that the work didn’t get done. There was a little bit of posting going on social media, but not a lot of posting.
And long story short, once we found out about it because the client told us, we corrected the situation and we’re back on track, everything is fine with the client.
But it led to an internal lessons learned. So once we discovered that we were contractually bound to do something and we weren’t, we wanted to find out how we can prevent that from happening in the future. So we really came down to two different possible solutions. One is to have an internal audit, somehow figure out if we did what we’re supposed to do or, two, hold the employee personally accountable.
We debated back and forth, which is the best approach and how should we go about doing this? And there’s pros and cons to each. Certainly with the first solution, we could set up a process where effectively everything we do, especially if it’s contraction-required, we have someone go behind the employee that’s responsible for doing it and confirm that it’s done the way that it’s supposed to be done.
The problem with that is it means that we just doubled our work. Not only do we have to do the work, but we also have to now have someone else go verify that the work is done and when it’s not done, we’re probably tripling our work because we have to go back around and do it again. So it will ensure a very high quality, but it’s going to require a ton of labor.
Now the other way, holding the employee accountable, the pro is it’s fast. We do it one time, we’re done. If it’s not done the right way, then we hold the employee accountable. What we don’t have right now in this company is a written policy on how we hold employees accountable, but that is the solution that we want to go with. So what we don’t want to do is create a whole process for queuing our work and what not.
We are going to hire people that are responsible for taking on the work. We’re going to tell them what needs to be done contractually, give them some guidelines, give them the tools they need, and then let them do it. And if they don’t do it, then we’re going to have to implement disciplinary action.
Now, what does that mean? Well, for us it’s going to mean first when we see a pattern forming, we’re going to have an oral warning, right? And then we’re going to have a first written warning, second written warning, and then termination. So we’re a relatively young company, only a couple of years old. We actually haven’t written that down. As simple as the seems, we don’t have it. It’s something we need to do, but the key here is we need to hold our folks accountable for doing the work that we hired them to do, rather than holding their hands and doubling the work that we have to do in order to ensure that it really gets done.