This article comes from Entrepreneur.
How do you measure value? Figure that out before you hire (or fire!) anyone. Every business will do this a little differently, but across mine, we’ve learned to assess employees based on these three values:
How much is this employee contributing?
A productive employee accomplishes the goals set by the employer — and then some. Minimum output is rarely enough. It’s why so many small businesses fold within three years. An attitude of “Here’s what you should do and that’s it” puts your business on the fast track to failure. Instead, give employees baseline expectations that will help keep the business afloat, but make it clear that you expect more. Going above and beyond will give you a competitive advantage, and doing more is what’s needed to succeed.
How are they making our operation better?
Growth isn’t always about what an employee takes on. Sometimes it’s about responsibilities they remove in order to create new efficiencies. If your employee is not making your life significantly easier (and increasing your bandwidth) or adding capabilities that were previously lacking, then you should really question their purpose.
Do they make work enjoyable?
The emotional value of an employee is just as important as more quantifiable business metrics. Respect, communication and compassion might not show up on the bottom line, but they make a big difference with internal and external interaction and growth. If their personality doesn’t convey what you want, it’s an added vulnerability in the uphill battle of entrepreneurship.
So when do you fire? When an employee can’t fulfill all three of the core values. If even one is missing, it’s too much of a risk to keep that staffer. And if all are fulfilled, it’s your job to put that employee in a position to succeed, love their work and feel well-compensated.
Firing an employee will never be easy, but the process of evaluation doesn’t have to be hard. Set your values, make them clear, provide opportunities, and you’ll be more likely to build—and keep—a team that gives you the best chance to succeed.
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