• How do you communicate key information to your staff?

    28 Feb 2020 | 12:00 am

    Ezra was reading "from the booktranslating to give the sense so they understood" (Nehemiah 8:8 NASB). When key information needs to be communicated, managers need to take time to make sure the message is heard, understood, and will be acted[…]


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Nov 06

Plan Work Commitments

Posted by: Steve Marr

Tagged in: Untagged 

Planning and adhering to work commitments is a common challenge.  Time and time again some individuals simply schedule too much work and miss deadlines. Often the person feels bad about it, but believes a good explanation equals a good result. Most customers disagree.

In my own mind I differentiate between a reason and excuse. A reason is something you provide in advance concerning why you may not be able to meet a customer’s expectations or requirements. An excuse is something conjured up as a reason for failure.


I have interest in a damage restoration business. A customer called and wanted some service. When I reviewed the current scheduled staff, I realized that new work would make other commitments fall behind. I made the decision to decline the new job, as much as I would have liked the work. On one level I could see how we might shoehorn the new job in, but reality was that somebody’s work would get pushed back, causing us to miss commitments.  My perspective was that it was better to make good on our commitments than to take on the work. As King Solomon wrote, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1, NIV) Better to protect a reputation than to become known as one who over promises and under delivers.

Last year I was doing some landscape work and the company made a commitment about when the work would start and end. The work started after the promised commencement date and dragged on. When I talked to the owner he blamed the rain we’d had that season. I responded that from my understanding, we actually had less rain than expected. I didn’t see why he should be so behind.  “Didn’t you plan to have some rain days?” I asked. I never got a really good answer. The reality was that the owner scheduled work as if every day would be nice and sunny, no one would call in sick and every job would go as scheduled. Clearly this was never realistic.

Airlines do this at times; it’s called overbooking the seats. The airline is allowed to sell more seats on the plane than they have with the belief that some people will not show up. Most days this works, but in a few high-profile cases sometimes embarrassingly caught on YouTube, we see the result of this practice.

In our business we need to carefully count the cost of making our commitments. King David gave us a good model when he wrote of those who, “. . . keep their promises even when it hurts.” (Psalm 15:4, NLT)

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