What’s a “bad” employee and how can he hurt your business?

I was recently asked by a reporter who’s making a research for a newspaper on “bad” employees and how they affect a company’s monetary value – to give an example of a bad “hire” and how it affected my company production.

I thought I should share my part of “bad” employees, and even more important is the “Triangle Of Happiness” (a small simple system of 3 questions that I keep returning to , and explained later into the story) in order to maintain the same quality I wish to deliver to my clients – a moving experience with a tremendous value.

Hiring a “bad” employee can hurt your business in too many ways; and it is important to realize it fast and to take care of it, before you’ll lose your brand reputation.That one employee can actually bring down your whole business.

After a potential client calls our moving company and schedules a moving project, by the time we’re done relocating all of his household goods (every piece of furniture, boxes, and even the lawn mower) , our client is expected to interact with all of our employees…

Especially with the moving crew itself, face-to-face, physically working, sometimes even together, on making their moving day as smooth as possible as requested by client (placing boxes and furniture in different rooms, which furniture to take and etc.)

Moving is stressful for every person.

Relocating to another residence bares various tasks that needs to be achieved, worries of the unexpected, and all the drama that comes with changing your life all of a sudden, can overwhelm most of us.

And we need to remember an important fact;

Sometimes people relocate against their “will”, or they’re subject to leaving with “unhappy terms”, it can be an awful break-up/divorce, or an economic reason – downsizing and trying to save on costs – and the main thing is to SAVE ON COSTS, so if your client is already stressed about money – being there for him, means to defuse that specific worry..


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This is when your persona and your company’s employees attitude means everything to this moving game industry –

(These are the moments I like the most, this is when you can actually intervene and make a change in your clients life and be remembered forever, for truly helping him and accommodating his needs on this day, not only you’ll get a 5 star review from a client, if you’ll handle these situations the right way, you’ll get a true new advocate who will be happy to turn others to your business. But that’s for another article)

I had different kind of “bad” employees – one example of an employee you might consider, if you don’t have another option – is a driver I had working for me, one of kind person that just couldn’t get to work on time – Always being late.

He would be an awesome mover, responsive to the client needs when on the job, was able to deliver high value to his moving projects, every client was eventually happy with the service and even recommended with 5 star reviews, forgetting my driver has been late the same morning.

If you’re having this type of an employee, then you should do the calculations yourself if its worth to keep hiring him – or to replace him with the unknown person to come (I personally would fire if he doesn’t get it on the 3rd time, every but every person is replaceable with another.)

Please be reminded –

Moving is mainly a labor work and it’s very hard to find the RIGHT person for this type of job (long hours, heavy items, complete customer care), the moving crew leader has to be a responsible person, who’s on top of the moving project – from the first screw of your master bedroom to the last kitchen box – his responsibilities are great – hundreds of different items that needs to be moved inside a moving truck, safely with no damage at the new place.

The moving crew leader holds the key to the moving company’s success, and unfortunately I had in that position, the worst employee I ever hired, and he was a friend of mine.

This is an example complete “bad” employee, that hurts your business in every way that’s possible to a business;

It’s the kind of employee that nobody’s happy with, not the client, not his fellow co-workers and even you start to question why he should still be working.

And there’s a term-question I invented, that you should ask yourself as a business owners, I like to call it “The triangle of happiness” question, it involves: The client, Fellow employees, and the boss (the business owner), are all your “Triangle of happiness” points happy? In that way you can figure out quickly where there are issues that needs to be addressed in your organization – but if your answer is No, on all of your “triangle happiness” points, it means you’re already in trouble and it’s time to say goodbye.

When it’s a friend, it’s even harder to let go, when it’s someone you want to believe-in and make him progress in life, it’s almost impossible to see the the danger.

My complete “bad” employee worked for our moving company for a long 5 months before I decided it has too much of a toll on my company’s reputation, it seemed there was not one mistake he missed doing – or a week that passed by without any incident –

Almost every moving project, something bad was bound to happen – from forgetting where small pieces of a bed frame are located which unable him to res-amble the bed, to completely destroying pieces of furniture.

Being late from time to time, and it seemed like the bad events are being spreaded overtime, getting worst and worst;

Customers were leaving 1 star reviews and when it comes to hiring movers, your reputation online is your main storefront – good reviews will only bring the clients inside your “store” which will be your online profile – what you offer them as far as quote-wise and how you present you present yourself – that will actually make them schedule with your moving company.

The damages to the company was tremendous – giving a low quality of service in this industry can quickly shut you down, since this is what it’s all about – customer service at its prime (when they need you the most to be there for them), clients are looking for someone they can definitely trust to move their most precious items with care.

Not only the “bad” employee gave a low quality of service which the client wasn’t happy with, thousands of dollars were paid back to clients, due to broken furniture and trying to compensate clients to not write a bad reviews – that’s when I learned, clients don’t want to be compensated, they want to have a perfect moving process on their moving day that meets their expectations, and to be honest it’s not too much – when you’re prepared and know what you’re doing.

At another case, our “bad” employee decided to “take” and hide the fact he received a large tip from a big moving project they all worked hard for (it is known the divide the tip received by the client between all the movers evenly), that made the rest of the crew unhappy and distrusted him ever since, a great a example of how an employee can also hurt the working environment.

The last thing he done before quitting the job – an old lady called from the road saying he cut her lane and “flipped a finger” – I was shocked from his act for a moment, but not completely surprised.

That was the last incident I was willing to go through, decided I had enough of this drama and I fired him right away.

And there were more incidents with this specific employee and at the time of them happening, I was trying to address all these issues at real time ,and it always seemed as if the “bad” employee is trying as hard as he can, that he’s motivated to succeed and willing to learn how to do it the right way, always begging for another chance, but we need to be honest with ourselves and look beyond our faith in someones future abillities, and before it’s too late, to just hire someone else, who might be exactly what you need without trying to “shape” an employee into a character you formed in your head.

As a business owner, I choose to save my company’s reputation, fire the “bad” employee when it still wasn’t too late and try to restore the trust I had from my clients.

I focused on building the moving crews by myself, working with the guys everyday until I landed the right people – who appreciate their daily job and make the best out of every day, these are the people every company wants and needs – employees who are humble to have the chance to work for your brand – and the customers love it!

Today, about a year later i’m happy to say I got two moving crews who I trained personally, work independently and provide a complete stress free relocation experience to any client who schedules with us, from start to finish every mover in my company knows what he’s doing, only real professionals – no “daily workers” Only in-house trained movers – with the client being the top priority.

The main lesson to be taught is – that sometimes it’s just better to give up your hopes on someone – and hire another person to do the job – before it costs you a price you can’t pay, there’s a lot of people out there waiting for a chance – keep hiring and always keep an eye open, always remember that every person is must be replaceable, when it comes to your business, even friends you want to help and see grow.

My name is Jack Bornstein and i’m a business owner out of Houston, Texas, I own a small moving company – Texas Move-It – And we always strive to provide a high end relocation experiences, tailoring or moving services for residential houses and apartments, all around the greater Houston Area.

We also offer free on-site consultations to ease our clients mind by describing to details how their project is going to be done, and also create a job portfolio with and estimated quote and time-frame as part of service – Visit our website at TexasMoveIt.com to learn more and to schedule a meeting with us!

If you have any questions and or had your share of “bad” employees, please feel free to comment below, share your ideas on how to avoid hiring such an employee, or how would you detect a “bad” employee before it too late? Would you keep hiring an employee who’s not completely “bad” but has a distinct issue that bothers only you (business owner)? what about an employee who provides the job above the average but doesn’t get along with fellow co-workers? Thanks for participating !

Jack Bornstein

Texas Move-It – Houston professional Movers




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