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As we mentioned in our last post, Building the Right Team (Link HERE), surrounding yourself with the right team is crucial for any manager or business owner. With capable people in the right roles, your company can run like a well-oiled machine. Ideally, your people work well together and lift each other up — creating a team that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

But sometimes it isn’t so easy. What do you do when you make the wrong hire? We’ve all dealt with employees who get in the way of growth. The causes of these performance issues are varied, but the solution is usually the same: It’s time to part ways. But moving on from an employee isn’t always easy. So here are some tips to remember when dealing with a stagnant employee: 

  • Remember culture comes first. CEOs love using sports analogies for a reason — your employees aren’t all that different from a sports team. Having just one “player” who disrupts the chemistry of your team can throw off interpersonal dynamics, disrupt relationships, and lead to an overall decrease in performance. So make sure you have a broad understanding of the personalities on your team — and know when hiring or firing a certain person will affect the culture. 
  • Know that you don’t have time for toxic employees. Sometimes a toxic employee helps you make money, individually. They do their job and — in isolation — they’re driving growth. You have to look a little harder to see the harm they’re causing. They might be bringing down other employees and keeping them from doing their best work. So while your instinct might be to look at the numbers and act on those figures, it’s better to step back and take a holistic view. Moving on from this toxic employee might be much better for the long-term health of your business, even if there’s a loss in the short term.
  • Communicate first, act second. Maybe the expectations aren’t clear. Maybe, for instance, an employee doesn’t quite know how their performance is being measured. So before you act rashly with a low-performing employee, make sure you sit down with them and touch base. Low performance can have multi-faceted causes — and miscommunication between management and an employee is sometimes a factor.  
  • Don’t be afraid to trust your gut. Sometimes it’s not all that complicated. Your employee knows what’s expected of them — and they just aren’t meeting expectations. If something feels “off” with an employee, trust your knowledge of your team and your company, and don’t be afraid to act. After all, sometimes someone just isn’t a good fit for your team. The sooner you act, the sooner the employee can move on to new opportunities and you can move on to filling the role with someone who will thrive. 

Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. While you do everything in your power to ensure they succeed, you need to make sure they’re holding up their end of the bargain and delivering great work. So to keep your company growing, be sure to invest in high-performing employees — and don’t be afraid to move on from anyone getting in the way of that growth in any way.