You've heard the saying: Your business is like your baby. Whether you decide to be a single parent or partner up, you know that anyone you introduce to your business baby in the early stages has to be perfect.
The wrong family friend (aka hire) could ruin its success, but when emotions run high, we often blindly think that everyone who shows a little bit of enthusiasm to be near us and our bundle of joy also wants the best for it. That's where things get messy.
Sometimes new hires end up not being the go-getter their resume crooned they'd be or the team player they swore their strength would be. Worst case scenario, sometimes they just don't care about you, their role, or the business. So, what are you to do?
If you're not quite ready to give up, try these tactics before giving the boot:
Scenario: They're not good at their job.
Solution: Yikes. For some reason, their audition, interview, or portfolio passed you and the team with flying colors, but now their quality is just not up to par.
Spend an extra bit of time sitting down with them on their first few projects to point out what is and is not acceptable. These early stages are crucial to building a good foundation for the rest of their career with you.
Yes, it's time-consuming, frustrating, and maybe downright annoying, but use this as a time to practice pitching your brand's workflow, style, and overall process. Give them the benefit of the doubt to settle into a new environment and make sure all of your expectations are clearly written down.
Pro tip: Set a hard deadline for your non-negotiable items--if your new employee continues to make detrimental mistakes in these categories, then it's justifiable to say goodbye. Make sure you keep a log of their mistakes and your warnings for HR purposes.
In the future, explore more in-depth trainings, internships, or probationary periods before going for the full hire.
Scenario: They don't get along with the team.
Solution: On paper, this hire was exactly what you were looking for. In person, they give backhanded compliments and are rude to the team.
First step? Talk to them. Skip over the passive aggressive e-mails to the whole team to save the new guy from embarrassment. Invite them into your office to discuss the latest issues. Be honest, kind, and see if there is a deeper underlying issue.
Possible solutions can include placing them on more independent projects or planning off-site team bonding events. Remember, co-workers don't have to be best friends, but they do have to respect each other. Be fair to everyone alike and stay firm to maintaining the best company culture.
Pro tip: When hiring, allow members of your team to sit down for quick interviews with your top candidates. This is a double win: Your team feels empowered that they have a say in the company's future while you get to hear honest feedback on the candidate's real personality without the boss around.
Scenario: They're cutting corners.
Solution: Maybe they're showing up progressively later, leaving earlier, or taking long lunches. Alternatively, they're not hitting deadlines or forgetting to check off mandatory action items. They thought they could get by, but you definitely notice.
Just like in the first scenario, make sure you keep a log. Then, invite them into your office and discuss what's going on. Maybe they're having personal issues that aren't allowing them to show up on time or maybe they're avoiding running into a co-worker.
You don't know until you talk to them. Give them a warning, help them to find a solution, and make it clear that cutting corners is not going to fly.
Pro tip: Make sure their contract or onboarding documents clearly state your daily expectations so that there is no question when they begin to fall short.
Final pro tip.
You know your company best. No one ever hires someone with the intention of wanting to fire them right away--we all want it to work. The key solve to any employee issue is to talk to them with utmost honesty, kindness, and urgency.
Commit to a time frame that your new employee can work up to and practice your patience and leadership skills until you've tried everything you can. Remember, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work, and that's 100 percent okay.