Your employees are any entrepreneur’s lifeblood. No new business will survive without a good set of people making sure that things run perfectly. The problem for any entrepreneur is making sure that your team’s people are trustworthy and reliable. Some people can have a sixth sense of reading people, but you will need to keep an eye out for a few warning signs if you’re not that lucky to spot problem employees ahead of time.
They’re Uselessly Critical
Criticism has a place in any business, but only if it’s constructive. Any criticism needs to have a solution accompanying it, or it’s just complaining. It can get old fast and is terrible for the morale and relationships of staff.
Take note of anyone who complains for seemingly no reason other than to complain. Allow them to change things by asking them for solutions whenever they criticise something. If they don’t have any, take note of that as well. As we advance, you’ll need positive thinkers with real ideas that will benefit the business. You should also take note of people who constantly criticise their peers. Even a passing insult can affect staff morale. A business is a team effort, a demanding one at that, and you don’t need someone’s insecurities getting in the way of a hard day’s work.
They Can’t Focus
The easily distracted make for entertaining characters, but they have no place in your business. A savvy entrepreneur will note anyone who checks their phone at work or constantly shifts between their job and something entirely unrelated. Pay attention to whether they can make eye contact, hold a conversation, or even just don’t pay attention. They are at risk for making mistakes because they just didn’t listen.
Be aware that some people can still perform their jobs well, despite their apparent lack of focus. Ensure that you keep them on jobs that don’t require client interaction or that they can at least speak well. We don’t want a client to take offence to their seeming lack of interest.
They Won’t Adapt
There is a time and a place to stand your ground. There are also just as many times for you to change your mind and rework the situation. You need good planners on your team, but you’ll also need them to be willing to be adaptable to changing their plans.
Take note of anyone who seems like they’re unable to make changes when the time comes, and it will. While they can be beneficial in the planning stages, they may not be cut out for specific industries that have innovations coming down the pipe every month.
They’re Not Excited
Days at the office of a new business can quickly become a hard grind. No matter how pumped you are, there may come a time where things just don’t look like they are coming together, but you need to hold on. People who don’t seem invested and treat the business with an evident lack of interest are the last thing you need, as they’ll just make everything more complicated.
Employees with this trait will need to be watched carefully. Take note that some people are naturally reserved, which is fine. You will need to keep an eye out for the ones who really just don’t care. They will bring everyone’s mood down unless you do something about it.
They Pass the Buck
As a new business owner, you’ll need to give credit where credit is due. When someone does something impressive, praise them, and when they screw up, let them know in private and try to find an explanation. The latter situation is particularly important – many people are more than willing to blame someone just so they won’t have to admit when they are wrong.
Here’s the main problem: if they can’t admit their mistakes, they’ll likely keep repeating them, never being able to figure out how things went wrong. You don’t need problem employees like this in your business.
Of course, you’ll need every person at your disposal to succeed in your new business. That means that you shouldn’t judge problem employees too quickly. They might have had an off day that resulted in unwanted behaviour. Even if it is apparent that it’s a consistent trait, don’t be in a hurry to write them off. After all, people can learn and grow, but if they can’t do that, do what you need to do for your business, whether making sure they don’t get a promotion or even replacing them.
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