A bad apple spoils the bunch, right?
This old adage almost definitely pertains to employees and business success.
Simply, hiring the wrong employee(s) can have a huge negative impact on a business.
Unfortunately, bad hires are far from uncommon. In fact, only 19% of new employees are considered totally successful in the position. That means 81% of new hires leave something to be desired.
Of course, some will be worse than others. It’s the truly toxic people that cause particular damage to your business. But how exactly do they do it? What are the specific ways in which employees can hinder business growth and development?
And, more to the point, what can you do about it?
Keep reading to find out exactly that.
7 Ways Employees Hinder Business Growth
Let’s begin by looking at some of the ways your business can suffer at the hands of bad hires.
1. Damaged Finances
First and foremost are the potential financial implications to consider.
Simply put, bad apples can cost your business money.
We aren’t talking small sums either. In fact, expect to lose out on as much as 30% of that person’s first-year salary.
Your business suffers financially in all manner of ways. In fact, almost every other issue in the coming list can result in capital losses. Poor work ethic, low productivity, and insidious negativity can all be detrimental in financial terms.
Likewise, managers spend time and energy trying to rectify the problem. Of course, that all amounts to lost finances as well.
2. Reduced Morale
It doesn’t take much to zap the life from a team.
An efficient, high-performing workforce can be brought down by one negative, poorly-performing individual.
After all, person A does less work with less enthusiasm and still gets paid the same amount. It can be tempting to follow suit.
Likewise, have you ever heard of energy vampires? These are the people that literally suck the energy and enthusiasm from you when you spend time together. Having these people in a team can be anathema to business success. Employee motivation levels drop. Performance dwindles with it.
3. Diverted Energy and Attention
Bad hires take huge amounts of time and energy away from core tasks.
Of course, we already noted the financial implications of this.
But the issue is even more insidious. To grow, the key players in a business must be focused on the primary task at hand. There’s no room for micromanaging. Everyone in the team must be performing their roles and responsibilities to the best of their ability.
Any distraction can ultimately lead to reduced productivity and unmet goals.
Time spent on handling poor performers is time away from the core tasks that promote business growth.
Certain employees don’t care about your business.
They’re only in it for the paycheck. As such, they do the bare minimum and don’t worry about the standard of their work.
Mistakes are a natural by-product. Each and every mistake they make can mean less revenue for your business. It might also mean missed business opportunities and damaged client relationships.
All of these issues can be detrimental to growth and success.
Absenteeism is to be expected.
People get sick. People go on vacation. It’s normal.
However, excessive levels of absenteeism have undoubted negative effects on business. After all, the same amount of work needs doing with fewer people around. Likewise, salaries are still being paid out for zero return.
The negative implications of this can build up over time. Understaffing becomes an issue. Workloads get stretched. Remaining staff members carry the load and may even burn out.
6. Reputational Issues
Business is built upon solid relationships and reputation.
Branding is everything. It’s what people say about you behind closed doors.
Clients and customers are fickle. It doesn’t take much to take turn a lifelong customer into your greatest critic. Employees can do untold damage by sending the wrong messages about your business.
They might be rude, confrontational, or inappropriate. They may represent your company in a negative way. They may be slanderous, and hateful in a public sphere.
Anything that damages your reputation can be hugely detrimental to your business in both the short and long term. It can be harder to get clients, sell products/services, and even hire new employees!
How to Rectify the Situation
With the issues covered, let’s turn to a few approaches that can help.
1. Stop and Listen
Listening to a poorly performing employee may be the last thing on your mind.
However, it’s often the key to turning the situation around.
Knowing the problem is essential to solving it. Arrange a one to one with them. Sit down as soon as possible to address the situation. Don’t be judgmental, critical, or negative. Simply provide a space to listen and see if anything is wrong.
You may begin to understand the true nature of the issue. Maybe there’s something happening in the employee’s home life. Maybe they’re being bullied by someone else in the team. Maybe they feel undertrained and under-supported.
Whatever the case, listening to them and understanding the issue will be helpful. Heck, it might even solve the problem outright!
2. Provide Prompt and Clear Feedback
No-one wins when an employee underperforms.
The business suffers, and the employee is unhappy.
It’s rare to find that someone that actually wants to see your business fail. They’re just going about their job the wrong way. It’s important that they know what they’re doing wrong, so they can improve.
Of course, this can be a difficult message to deliver. Strive to do it sensitively and in a positive way. Encourage, don’t discredit. Let them know what they’re doing wrong. Offer alternative ways forward. And ask them what you can do to support them.
3. Record the Issue & Have Consequences
You need to document everything!
Whenever there’s an issue, write down what’s happened, when, and what you did to rectify the situation. Be as specific as possible. That record will be essential if the situation calls for disciplinary action or even dismissal.
Likewise, set consequences for actions. Have a clearly defined warning system that everyone knows about. If poor performance and/or behavioral issues continue (or escalate), then have explicit and clear consequences laid out.
Ultimately, if nothing improves, then they have to go.
Time to Wrap Up
There you have it: all the ways employees have the potential to stunt your business growth and how to solve the problem.
Top employees can have a hugely positive impact on the business. Unfortunately, the opposite is true too: bad hires can significantly hinder your business.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted how that happens, and what you can do about it when it does.
Looking for support creating a clean, healthy and safe working environment? Contact us today to see how we can help.