If you’ve ever wondered what the worst part of being an entrepreneurial business owner is: most would agree that it is letting people go. Obviously, once relationships are built with the people you employee, which is unavoidable (unless you’re not a people person, or just downright horrible) due to the fact that you work with them so closely every day, it can be hard to do your duty as the business owner and put the business first by letting them go.
If you feel that an employee is a hindrance to your business, rather than a help to it, then the common solution is to let them go and get somebody else is. However, why don’t you try improving them first?
Improving an employee is a way to target the bad work they have been doing but still keep them around. There are a number of way to improve employee engagement and performance yourself. A few ways to do include being a bit more ‘boss’ like in the way you approach them and give them tasks, and communicate with them clearly about goals and expectation. Each and every day you should make each employee that you think needs a proverbial kick up the backside feel as if they have a future to work towards, which in truth they do, if they work hard enough. It’s easy for everybody to forget about the future when there’s so much to do in the present, so it’s important to remind your employees both what is expected of them in the near future, and what they can do do to work towards a goal in the long distance. You should also encourage open communication between all of your workforce, so that those who do do their jobs very well can maybe help out those that, well, don’t. Other ways to improve employee performance can be found here.
If, however, you would rather see a definitive transformation in a bad employee, you can optimise a more intense tactic and send them somewhere else to be professionally trained. This could be anything from a top sales training programs, to teach said employee all the ins and outs about how best to make a sell and close a deal; or a culinary program, for any chefs in your catering business that you feel doesn’t know the difference between a frying pan and a panna cotta. Doing so may cost you a bit, but if you’re serious about retaining an employee who you think is a rough diamond, then it may be well worth the investment. For instance, you don’t want to get rid of someone and in a few years see that they are one of the leading salespeople in the financially market, or a famous chef on TV.
Obviously, if, once improved, your employee is still not contributing in a way that you want them to, then it might be time to face the music and let them go. If it comes to this, then at least you can take solace in the fact that you did everything in your power to help them, and at least you can know for certain that it wasn’t laziness or a bad work ethic that hindered their performance, it was the fact that they had no aptitude for the task(s) they were given.