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Good Employee, Bad Employee

A wise woman once said that the first month with a new babysitter had better be blissful, because it’s all downhill from there.  Then there’s the “honeymoon” period when a couple first falls in love with each other.  No need to explain how that goes much of the time.

Have you hired a new employee who seemed so engaged in the business, thrilled with the opportunity and open to learning and performing the job, only to wonder 30 or 300 days later how you could have been so misled?

Granted, there are some really bad fits.  The babysitter who doesn’t like children.  The person of your dreams who has been dating someone else on the side.  The employee who took the job in desperation and has zero interest in the industry.  If the fit is clearly a bad one, end the relationship quickly.

Sometimes, however, the problem turns around into a great relationship.  The babysitter who was homesick for the first month turns into the best babysitter. Proponents for arranged marriages believe love can develop over time.

Should you consider working with the troubled employee to find out if they could shine in your company’s future?

Here are two possible solutions if you are struggling with an employee:

1.  The Right Job

Sometimes the problem employee is in the wrong job and doesn’t know it.  In the right job, they are amazing!

Move the listless store manager out of the store to handle all the online activities from home instead. The new tasks in their new home environment may motivate them so much, they may beat all the established objectives.  Move the bored employee from research and analysis to sales support. Maybe when their talents are applied to the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of the chase, sales numbers will notch up significantly.

Examine the employee’s strengths as well as their weaknesses.  Could they be a better match somewhere else in the organization?

2.  Feedback Loops

Most employees can’t read minds.  Some of them need feedback, positive or negative, on a regular basis.  Entrepreneurs are pretty busy people and giving feedback is way down on the to-do list.  Without knowing where they stand, employees can lose their confidence. Without confidence, they can lose motivation.  Make sure you’re giving the employee enough feedback and allowing them time to communicate with you.  With enough encouragement, confidence and motivation, they may be able to take on more of those things on your to-do list!

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Amanda Weathersby’s business Entrepology provides business analysis and forecasts to help companies seek funding, sell their companies, and merge with or acquire companies. Amanda has worked as a business consultant for multinational companies, for startups and for small businesses. She has taught entrepreneurship classes for five years.

The Weathersby Group (TWG) was Amanda’s first venture, created in 1990. The company provided consulting and staffing to high tech businesses in Washington, DC, Boston and New York. It grew to $15 million in revenue by 2000, when the company was sold to a publicly traded company.

You can view her profile HERE.

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