It sounds so simple, yet it is so difficult. Business is easy. Managing people and making sure the right people are in the right seats is the hard part.
For some, when the wrong people are in the wrong seats, it can cause tremendous conflict. Most people are not good at letting people go. That’s a nice way of saying firing people. But, it is part of doing business.
Let me change the perspective for you. If you have to fire someone, they have already fired themselves and, in many cases, they are taking advantage of the system or are simply afraid to quit. You are doing them a favor by letting them go if they are the wrong person for the job. It may not feel like it to them in the moment, but you are forcing them to go find something they will love to do that is in better alignment with who they are and where their passions lie.
Trust me on this one. The biggest downfall of most companies is having the wrong people in the wrong seats. There can be nothing less productive and, in many cases, more toxic. If you have people who are coming to work every day hating what they are doing, odds are that they are complaining around the water cooler. They are probably finding the negative in everything that the company does and everything you say and do. You may not know it, but when this happens a sub-culture forms consisting of everyone who hates you or doesn’t respect you. It’s toxic for the company, your credibility and everyone’s growth. So, what should you do? Here are three easy things to do right now to get the right people in the right seats.
#1: Pull out a chart of your organization and make sure everyone’s name and title is on it. Make sure there are 5-10 bullet points under each name outlining that position’s role and responsibilities. Then, match up the person to the R&R. If they are less than an 85-90% match, that person is the wrong person in the seat. If they are less than a 60% match, you need to get them in the right seat or let them go.
#2: You need to set 1, 3, and 5-year goals and forecast the company’s growth plus what additional roles you need to hire. Use the organizational chart with bullet points you made above so that when you interview people you will have a standard by which to compare them that includes the long-term plans of the company. You may want to consider using personality tests to help you with this. I like the Kolbe.com
#3: Leave emotions on the sidelines. If you are going to lead a company to growth, you have to make tough decisions. Part of your job is defining the roles and responsibilities of everyone in the company and making sure they do what they are tasked to do and then some. If they are the wrong person, you need to find them the right seat or you need to let them go. Yes, there is a process to this, but that doesn’t give you the pass to skip this step. Your company is depending on you to clean up the A-bench and put the best players in their best positions in order to win this game. You will see that when you let the weak links are removed, everyone who remains rises. Remember this: You are only as good as your lowest standard. And, the company knows it.
A healthy company is like a healthy diet. You are what you eat. When you eat clean, you feel great. When you don’t, you feel crummy. Same with people. When you have all the right people in the right seats, everyone loves coming to work and feels great. When you don’t, everyone feels crummy!
You decide what kind of company you want today and don’t want tomorrow!