You are here:

Dealing with Employees/How to get employee to pay attention to detail


mdurg wrote at 2014-10-30 20:20:06
I had a similar situation in a similar type of business. Our remote office produced work primarily for one key client. The amount of mistakes seemed to become contagious at one point and our client began to lose confidence in us.

At first when the mistakes were infrequent and random, my approach was to talk to the employee and inform them of what they did wrong, to correct it and "pay better attention" in the future. Well the frequency increased, particularly with one employee. I still continued on with coaching the employee when mistakes happened. It seemed the group developed an almost cavalier attitude - "well we all make mistakes."

It all came to a head when the VP of sales came to me that the customer had lost all confidence in us. That they didn't know if what we were providing them was right. Maybe it took 2 or 3 tries each time to get it right and as much as they liked all of us, they were sick of it. Basically I was given the ultimatum of fix the problem immediately or I would be gone. I would need to give him my plan the next morning.

So what I came up with was a procedure that made them all 100% accountable for their work. 1st infraction they would be written up. 2nd they would be terminated. All of design instruction info was already entered into the computer system into their work queues. In most cases they breezed through it and were missing details. So this was the procedure I outlined for them:

- they must print out a paper copy of instructions (I told project manager all instructions should be written in bulleted list form)

- they must follow each instruction listed and check each off as they are completed.

- once completely done with their project, they sign off the paper and keep on file.

The procedure was published, a meeting was held explaining the severity of the problem to the group, and they all signed off they understood and would follow the procedure. I will tell you that it was a night and day difference in the output quality of the group. Went from multiple mistakes per week to zero. I was like flicking a switch.

Bottom line is that employees need to know exactly what is expected of them and they need to be held accountable if they don't meet the expectation.

Dealing with Employees

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ellyn Traub


I coach professionals on all organizational levels in business and professional development and leadership. Questions I can answer include; managing and creating change, expanding people`s capacity to take effective action, creating a sense of purpose at work, moving people toward achieving their highest potential and productiviey, time management,collaboration, and conflict resolution.


I have over 15 years of management experience in business development. I was responsible for training and coaching new staff, team building, conducting annual committments (performance reveiws), and leadership development. I developed and implemented a relationship marketing program and created a team-based delivery system which resulted in doubling our client base. With this program, a client management system was created. Collaborating with several internal department, a data collection process was successfully created and implemented which enhanced and accelerated cutomer care services. To uncover gaps in our delivery of service, an assessment of business processes wsa designed and conducted. The results included, improved office efficiency and effectiveness, a reduction in interpersonal conflicts bewteen staff, supervisors, and departments, and the gap between perceived delivery of service and what the client expected to receive dramatically closed. To develop company brand, amrketing materials and continuing education programs were created. Addtional expertise is in the use of assessment profiles.

International Coach Federation
Executive Women International
Chamber of Commerce
Entreprenuers Alliance of Indiana
Network of Women In Business
American Society For Training and Development

Master's Degree: Instructional Systems Technology, Indiana University
Additional training:
Corporate Coach University
The Center For Organizational Resources, Ball State University

©2016 All rights reserved.