Startups: Putting together the right team
When you’re starting your own business it is an operation of one. You’re like Bugs Bunny, playing every position, but you can only sustain this type of pressure before you have to start hiring a little help. Often, that help comes in the form of your friends.
Hire people with similar personalities to ensure a productive team
It’s natural to hire the people you love and trust when growing your business. When your whole life (and savings) are invested in your business, finding employees you trust, who share your goals and who want you to succeed, is vital. Many times friends naturally fall into this category, and before you know it you have a few of your friends on the payroll.
But just because you love your employees doesn’t mean they always end up loving each other. One of your responsibilities as a boss is to keep a close eye on your team to make sure everyone is happy and working to the fullest. If one person seems to be bringing your team down for whatever reason, you need to be able to solve the problem. The quicker you can fix issues in your team, the quicker you can restore peace and harmony and your office can get back to working optimally again.
Your first step is to pull your friend aside and give them a warning and let them know that there is a disconnect between them and the rest of the team. Often this is harder than the actual firing because your friend may not be aware that they are causing a disruption in the workflow. You want to be honest, and you want to be compassionate, plus you want to give your friend – or in this case – your employee, a chance to change their work behavior and attitude. If nothing seems to change after a warning, and the work environment remains toxic, it’s time to do the dirty deed and let your friend go.
You have to make tough decisions as a boss
Firing a friend may keep you up at night, and you’ll consider risking the respect and trust from the rest of your team to avoid firing your friend. You need to put on your bossy pants and do the deed. Rip off the bandaid, so to speak. It’s business, not personal, etc. The best thing you can do for yourself and your friend is to be completely honest, but nice and compassionate, just like you would be with any of your employees. Being honest about why you have to fire the person is the best way to go. Always!
We know it’s hard, but ask anyone in your network and they’ll tell you that every entrepreneur has had to fire a friend at some point. And it never gets easier, but as time goes by you’ll get better at hiring the right personalities that will work well with the rest of your team and help you grow your business to new heights.