Losing key personnel is inevitable as a business owner, and yet it almost always catches leaders unawares. From the moment an employee gives their notice, the pressure is on to fill the position with a replacement that is not only qualified and experienced but also fits well with the company culture.
While it’s tempting to hire the first decent candidate you come across, making the right decision for your company in the long-term is more important. I’m going to talk you through what to do in these high-pressure situations as well as how to improve your decision making in the future.
Where the Pressure Comes From
It’s not realistic to think that your employees will stay with the company forever. All you can do is be prepared when turnover happens. Unfortunately, many managers and business owners don’t think about employees leaving until it’s too late. This lack of planning results in making decisions under pressure to hire someone as soon as possible, even if they’re not a perfect candidate.
There are many reasons for this pressure, but much of it comes from the fact that the rest of your staff cannot adequately shoulder the burden and you have no internal candidates to promote. This happens when:
- We ignore the need to develop a back-up bench, for each position
- Our resources are tied up in loyal but below-average employees, leaving little time to properly train and promote someone new
- We look for employees to fill a short-term need rather than our long-term goals
- We skip doing honest and aggressive performance evaluations and can’t accurately challenge employee performance
- We don’t seek out game-changers in our industry
- We take the easy way out and don’t honestly tell some of our teammates that they aren’t cutting it
Hiring the wrong employees is bad for the company in the long run, no matter how convenient they seem short-term. Staffing your team with subpar employees means that if one leaves, the others can’t keep up the pace. As you get more comfortable making decisions under pressure, you can start to chip away at the root of this issue.
Tips for Making Decisions Under Pressure
The first step to making decisions under pressure is to be prepared. If your company is guilty of any of the issues in the previous paragraph, you need to re-evaluate the way you hire, train, and retain employees. Your team should be strong enough that they can absorb the loss of a fellow employee, even if it takes a while to hire the right person to fill the vacancy.
Also, you should always keep an eye out for people to promote or cross-train. By ensuring every employee has leadership potential and a varied skill set, you’ll make it easier to develop an internal candidate when a vacancy arises. This cuts down on training time and eases the stress of the situation.
Be sure that each position has a detailed process document archived and that no employee is the sole authority on their role. If everyone knows how your organization’s systems work, there will be more people able to pick up the slack when an employee inevitably leaves.
Most of all, remember that a few weeks with an empty, while stressful, will likely not permanently affect your business. Hiring the wrong person can. Take your time when making decisions under pressure so you can feel confident in your choice of employee.
Making hiring decisions is just one crucial aspect of management. Fill out my contact form and let’s schedule a video call to work on improving your management depth and skills for the future.