It’s fairly well known, you can count on having about 10% bad apples on your team. No matter how great of a recruitment process in place, you’re gonna hire some employees that just cannot get the work done. Oftentimes, it’s due to augmenting their position to leadership when they are not ready.
The question is, how bad can it get?
We’ve hired a lot of talent at the web agency. But early on, as we faced growth challenges, we pushed some members of our team to higher responsibility (with better contracts). However, we quickly realized that the quality of work delivered did not rise. In fact, different contract, same results. And that’s really the trick. How do you increase someone’s contract with whom you are happy, but in the end the results do not rise.
This is a very important debate in Europe, notably. The contract needs to be respected. You cannot ask an employee to do more than the contract exposes. Yet, how do you know if the person can really accomplish more if they don’t prove it first? This is the risk companies face, and often fail for lack of understanding the limits of their employees.
Employees cannot work more than their contract exposes for fear of being undervalued. How can they then be considered for a higher task if no one knows their capacity?
No easy answers, and we made many mistakes promoting people who weren’t ready because the contract needed it.
One mistake I made was promoting a manager, we’ll call this person ‘Gareth’, after a successful project. Clearly based on one successful project, our mindset was that this person would be capable of managing at a higher level. But Gareth didn’t change. The world was changing, but Gareth was staying the same.
Ultimately, this affected the bottom line of our company. So, the new bottom line is, don’t put Gareth in a leadership position.