I hear this from both solopreneurs and owners with a handful of employees:
“I can’t find good people to hire.”
“I’ll train a good person; then they quit and become my competitor.”
“I had an employee. It didn’t work out. I’m not hiring anybody else.”
“My work is so unique, only I can do it. Too much trouble trying to train someone else to do it.”
“I can’t rely on my managers to make good decisions.”
What I see. If you fail to get needed help, if you opt to go it alone, if you have people who only follow orders and take no initiative, this guarantees you remain a small operation. This may be what you want, but if you want to grow, you’ve got to overcome this attitude. You must learn to ask:
“What is the highest skilled person I could bring in to free me up to focus on growing the company?”
My recommendations. (From our “Finding and Keeping Good People” and “Employer Assertiveness” ebooks)
— Make sure you hire the right people. If you have trouble interviewing and selecting quality people, get help from someone skilled at this.
— Start with a job description that answers the question just above. Look for, not just work skills and experience, but personal qualities and attitudes as well. For many jobs, the latter are more important.
— Help your people do the job you hired them for: training, clear direction, trust, feedback, systems and tools, acknowledgment.
— Be firm, fair, and consistent with your people. Employees leave because they don’t like their boss!
— It someone is not working out, let them go. Hire slow, fire fast!
— For every job that you think only you can do, look for the pieces that you could hand off to others.
This is a major theme in my “Top 3 Barriers to Small Business Growth—and how to overcome them” program.