Isn’t this one of the hardest questions? (Well, not always, sometimes they make it really easy on you to answer!)
I think it’s a whole lot easier when they fire themselves. Something goes wrong, there is an obvious mistake, they don’t show up, etc. Then you don’t have to question yourself.
But it also seems that even more damage can be done by someone who just sticks around. Forever. Slowly poisoning your office.
We’ve all seen it (and probably all of us have allowed it to happen too). The “just does enough to get by” staff person who doesn’t really move you forward but helps enough to keep you from having to do it all. You let them make you complacent.
They answer the phones, take the payments, open the office. The little things get taken care of with this person and you can rely on that.
If that’s all you want, then keep ‘em! But don’t say you weren’t warned…
Here are a few signs that it might be time to move on:
Their attitude or mood of the day controls the office atmosphere.
They take care of problems all day but never seem to be looking for solutions.
They are always trying to save a difficult client rather than gain a new client.
Their lazy habits are slipping on to the entire team.
They make excuses for not hitting goals.
They hate change and pushback against any new policy or strategy you suggest.
You don’t feel they’re looking out for your business anymore.
You don’t trust them.
They screw up, a lot.
You worry that their lack of knowledge will cost you in an E&O claim.
Go with your gut. Many times we ignore the signs rather than listen to our own intuition. Deep down, you always know when it’s time to move on, you just keep waiting for a BIG reason that might not ever come.
If you have a staff member that is falling into this category, take some time to consider why you’re keeping them. If they are a good and loyal employee, how can you train or support them to follow your policies & procedures and increase results? What will you do THIS WEEK to move them towards improvement or get them out the door?
I know it’s tough, but no one else is going to do it for you. And if the end result is a better and more successful agency, you’ll be glad you did it!