Don’t Force Square Pegs Into Round Holes

This is a common mistake that many entrepreneurs make. They have an idea of what they need and find someone who is close to what they need, more or less. But when that person doesn’t check every box the business owner pictured in their head, then it can go sour. Most business owners will either try to force them to do what they need or get frustrated and dismiss the person entirely (either actually terminating them or giving up on them in that particular position, which often leads to the employee leaving sooner or later).

It’s okay for someone to be good at 80% of what you hoped they might do. You have a job description in your head (and probably even that they applied for), but that doesn’t mean they have to be perfect at every single task. They can stay focused on what they truly excel at and do a good of it. Maybe you need to help them grow and expand their comfort zone. Maybe you need to accept that those tasks won’t be done quite as well as they could be. Maybe you need to offload those tasks onto someone else who’s better at them even though they might not naturally be under that job description.

The worse thing a business owner can do is not accept the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. If they legitimately don’t offer anything to the team, that’s okay, just let them go. But don’t let the opportunity of a great employee get away from you because you hoped they could do even more.

Likewise, some employees will show a tendency to certain tasks that fit their strengths and they may not even be related at all to what you hired them for. An okay salesman might be great at administrative duties. It’s okay to move that person to the administrative side of things. Just because you hired them for sales or customer service doesn’t mean they’re not even more valuable to you in other ways. You can find another customer service rep, let that employee thrive in the position they’re best at (assuming you have the need).