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Remind Me Later



Hire or Mentor?

My small business is evolving and I’m caught in a dilemma. I have an employee who is doing fine with core job duties (scheduling), but is not ready for better-rounded contributions I need (e.g., supporting me at community events). Am I better off replacing this team member with someone who can fulfill the expanding job requirements, or do I try to mentor the team member I have?
Coetic Coach
Being practical, try both by: CoeticCoach
A great strength of smaller businesses is the opportunity to offer well-rounded jobs that allow people to contribute significantly and grow personally. A leader who is great at defining what the business needs and engaging team members to fulfill evolving needs can build a great organization. That said, it’s not always possible to stretch team members into every evolving need if they don’t have the required knowledge, skills, abilities, and temperament to succeed. If you see a significant gap or simply can’t wait long enough to mentor to proficiency, put together the job description that best captures true needs, recruit for that position, and if you identify a candidate who is a better fit, make the upgrade.
Anon Anon
OK, I like the idea of keeping my options open and giving the person I already have a fair shot. But if I do find someone better, how do I handle dismissing a valued team member? The person is doing fine at the job I hired for at the time.
Coetic Coach
Decide firmly, outplace kindly by: CoeticCoach
Some hesitation is understandable - you wish you could solve this dilemma in a way that doesn’t have any glimmer of negative impact. Start by reminding yourself of a few things - (1) as a small business owner, you have obligations to build the strongest business you can for your customers and your entire future team, not just for a single current team member, (2) you’re human too and you worked with the best understanding you had at the time you made the hire with no crystal ball, and you’re not required to live with that choice including any flaws you now see indefinitely, (3) while not many of us would sign up to find out today that our livelihood is gone, it’s a reality of life that most of us face one way or another and that many of us ultimately feel created new opportunities. It’s for you to decide what is best for your business but it’s not in your power to even predict the ultimate outcomes, never mind determine them. Get firm in your decision even though it very likely involves trade-offs, and then outplace kindly. Prepare and provide a reference letter, offer connections to outplacement and job hunting resources that could be helpful, provide a severance allowance if appropriate for the position and duration of employment, or offer a working separation during which hours are flexible to support job hunting and tasks turn to training or preparing materials for the replacement hire you’re excited about.

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