Stop Solving Their Problems And You’ll All Win

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May 13, 2015

Dear Barb:

My owner has hired three new employees because he wants our company to grow and set new production records this year. I have been with our company for nine years, and now I must manage them as well as maintain my personal production.

My owner conducts the first week of formal training, but the new employees are constantly asking me questions. I’ve had my worst two months in my career and their conversations are a major distraction. I don’t want to be rude, but I’m tired of giving them answers all day long and tired of hearing their personal stories and excuses.

My owner is near retirement, does not work a desk and is depending on me. He’s been very good to me and I don’t want disappoint him. How do I get him to continue training these people and answer their questions so I can produce? They are not only costing me money, they are costing him money.

Last month, our office produced less than it had before they were hired. How do I approach this situation without sounding ungrateful?

Kevin K.
Charlotte, NC

Dear Kevin:

Every time a new employee asks you a question, your answer should always be the same, “What is your solution?” If you keep providing answers they will keep asking you questions. If they know you are going to say, “What is your solution?” the number of questions will dramatically reduce and they will begin to think for themselves.

If you are on your phone working, it is much harder for you to be interrupted or be distracted by their personal conversations. You need to tune them out and focus on completing your planned daily outgoing calls in order to maintain your production level.

All owners are receptive to ideas that will increase sales and profits. If you approach your owner that you have suggestions to make these three new employees more productive, he will welcome your input. I’m sure he is well aware of the fact that last month’s production was much lower than anticipated.

Working a desk while managing is challenging and during prime time you are not available for their questions, unless it involves a close. If your owner does not want to manage or consistently train, provide the new team with written expectations of what they can expect from you and what you need them to do in order to succeed. Hold evening wrap-up meetings and mandate that they plan 100% of their outgoing calls for the following day. Once you know their individual ratios and stats, you can manage by numbers which makes your job much easier.

During prime time, close your open door policy.

Regarding training, if you don’t want to provide training, consider doing a demo of our Top Producer Tutor. In addition to the core training program, you also get live weekly webinars, live bi-weekly coaching calls and we support the program and answer questions from your team. Email us at and put DEMO in the subject line and we will reach out to you.

Most owners welcome a conversation that discusses how they can increase sales and profits.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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