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To understand your employees, check the cars they drive

By | Jul 12th 2010 | 2 min read

By Ted Malanda

If you are a human resources manager and are reading this, the best way to know your workers is not through performance appraisals but by looking at what they drive.

First things first: If you pay someone Sh20,000 a month, that fellow is expected to arrive late for work in muddy or dusty shoes. Thus, if they arrive in a BMW, you might want to have a quiet word with the people at the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.

Second, the state of the cars your workers drive will tell you a great deal about them. The fellow whose car is always spotlessly clean is a perfectionist. Chances are that they do their work extremely well but drive everyone else nuts. There is nothing as infuriating as a ‘perfect’ worker. Horrible team spirit.

Not that those whose cars are always dirty are angels. Either they are too broke — a dangerous trait in an employee — to afford the carwash or, well, they are just dirty. If they work in your finance department or the kitchen, you are in big trouble.

And then there are those whose cars are always dented. What those dents mean is that they are careless and a big insurance risk to the organisation.

What’s even more likely is that they have a drinking problem because the one place where cars collect dents is the parking lot at the local pub.

Exhaust systems

The reckless ones aside, we have those who drive small cars with all manner of graffiti and stickers pasted all over. Most times, they have noisy exhaust systems and even noisier car stereos.

Such people love their cars to a fault, perhaps more than they love their wives and jobs. Would you trust them with your daughter? Hell, no! That explains why they are still waiting for a promotion. We also have these chaps with hundreds of teddy bears in their cars.

I could be wrong but I wouldn’t be surprised if they suck their thumbs too. What would teddy bears be doing on the backseat of a grown man’s or woman’s car?

Lastly, if you are looking for someone to promote, your candidate is the fellow with the smallest car in the parking lot. Trust me, prudence is their middle name.

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