The margin for error in any small company can be a razor’s edge, so choosing people willing and able to do the work needed is imperative. Deadweight employees can bring any business to its knees, and they can put a small concern into the red. Failing to hire them in the first place is the best case scenario, but it is not always an effective defense. Many people are able to do the work, and they can convince the person in charge of hiring them that they are more than willing to earn their pay. Hiring the first few people is can give the owner a sense of optimism when they work out, so they generally do not expect to end up with any bad hires.
It seems impossible that someone would let time stretch out by watching the clock tick through their shift, but this is one of the ways people become useless in any job. They would rather do nothing and let time stretch endlessly than perform their duties, and they seldom feel the need to accomplish anything. These clock watchers fail to produce their share of the work, and they block the expansion of the company. Firing them for cause is the best way to proceed, but many small companies today are afraid of legal backlash.
Motivating bad employees is generally one path small businesses try that can work, but it is often a waste of time. Many people who have been hired consider their place in the company is a given, and their refusal to do a fair amount of work is seen as a burden. Their attitude can affect other employees who are overwhelmed by doing a share of this person’s job, and it can bring moral down to a new low.
Removing a bad employee is not usually considered fun or easy, but it must be done when their lack of work affects the entire company. For small business owners, it can be the first time they are faced with this issue. They will eventually come to see that doing the hard job of firing the person can become their path to success, and their business will be able to expand if the next person they hire is just right for the job.