All business owners are guilty of keeping a non performing employee too long. We see the potential in somebody, we hope they will start meeting our expectations we have for them, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. They, for whatever reason, don’t want to change but that’s their decision, not ours. We just need to move on and take action.
As a business owner I have high expectations of my employees. Sometimes I’ve put the wrong person in the wrong position, other times our personalities may clash, and sometimes they just aren’t motivated or don’t like the job, but are doing it for a paycheck. Regardless of what the reason is, a business owner can’t afford to keep a non performer around. It costs time and money that a small business doesn’t have.

The other thing you need to look at is that you have a position in your company that could be filled with a superstar, and once you find that person it will create an opportunity for growth, profits and add to building your culture. Looking at your company as an opportunity for someone is exactly as an employee should look at it, as an opportunity for them. The need to look at their job as a career opportunity, where they can make more money, enjoy what they do, and they make your company a better company.
Recognizing when someone isn’t performing should be seen immediately. As a manager or owner, you need to have measures in place that will tell you whether the employee is performing according to your expectations. As a business owner or manager who has many responsibilities you must focus on what behaviors you expect, and then have the results measurable so you can manage them and not micro manage the behaviors that don’t matter. It’s easy to focus on the wrong behaviors when it’s the results you need to focus on.
This starts on the job description, develop the role of the individual. State what it is that they will be doing. Then describe the behaviors you expect from them. Set the daily, weekly, and monthly results you expect. Put the measurements in place, then develop a flash report or a way to record their results. This will help you identify how they are doing. This will allow you to look at what they are doing and distinguish whether it’s a personality clash or they are actually not performing.
Now when you recognize they aren’t performing it’s time to take action. Sit them down, show them how they are doing and how they aren’t meeting your expectations. Set timelines on what you expect so they know you will follow up with your set expectations. Also, you need to identify how you can help them do better. It may be more coaching, taking away responsibilities so they can focus on less to become better at certain tasks and then as they improve add more. However you develop the strategy, it needs to work for both of you.
Focus on non performers, give them the chance to improve. If they don’t then you have given them every opportunity and it’s time to let them move on. Letting them move on also allows them to get a job where they will be good at what they do. We need to remember that everyone wants to do good at their job, it just might be your company and the position they were in wasn’t a good fit.