Knowing when to add to your team can feel a bit like learning how to walk on a tightrope. On one hand, hiring quality talent can be expensive and we all see the value in running a lean business. On the other hand, trying to do too much with too little for too long can result in disaster.
So how can you master this delicate balancing act? It all comes down to recognizing the signs that it’s time to add to your team and the earlier you recognize the signs, the better you’ll be able to plan for future hiring needs.
Here are five signs to help you figure out when it’s time to invest in people:
1. Burnout is Real and a Sign It’s Time to Add to Your Team
When was the last time you had a vacation? No, responding to email on your laptop from the balcony of your beach rental, while you watch your kids play in the waves below doesn’t count.
If you haven’t had a real vacation (one where you actually unplug from work for at least a few days) in at least a year, you may want to think about how to outsource some of your responsibilities. Your mental health is one of your most valuable business assets. It’s time to start treating it as such.
In addition, if you are seeing signs of burnout in your employees including:
- Team members telling you it’s difficult (or impossible) to get all of their work done,
- Team members forfeiting vacation time or working outside of regular working hours,
- Project deadlines not being met, and
- Ordinarily cheerful people suddenly seeming irritated or stressed out
2. You Have a Management Gap
If you feel like you’re spending a lot of time answering questions you believe your team should be able to answer for themselves, it may be a sign that you need to hire a manager. Because you know you’ve hired good people, asking these kinds of questions suggests they need more training, guidance, oversight, or support.
A strategic management hire can make a team function better. By placing someone to oversee day-to-day operations and to answer procedural questions, everyone will be empowered to contribute on a higher level. Filling any management vacuum will also create time for you to focus on the bigger picture.
3. You Can Write a Job Description
One good practical sign that it’s time to add to your team is that you can write a detailed job description. It’s not enough to have a vague feeling like, “gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have another set of hands around the office?” So, if your employees come to you asking for additional help, the first step should be to have them create a list of tasks they would like a new person to do. If your would-be employee would have enough duties to fill an eight-hour shift, then it’s probably time to hire someone to fill the role.
4. Increased Customer Complaints or Quality Control Issues
Often the proverbial canary in the coal mine for a business that needs to change direction is an increase in customer complaints. This sign can be a bit challenging to read, however. If you have recently launched a new initiative, it might be realistic to expect a slight uptick in complaints as you smooth out your delivery process, for instance.
Still, too many quality control issues may be a sign you are pushing your team too hard. The best way to assess the source of these issues is to talk to customers directly to get a good feel for what has gone wrong and then ask your employees for feedback without playing the blame game. After gathering more information, you’ll be in a better position to assess whether hiring additional staff to keep up with the increased demand is the right move.
5. Too Many Employees Working Outside of Their Zones of Genius
You understand your own worth. This is one reason you hired employees in the first place. You know that it doesn’t make sense for you to spend your time managing your website, when you could be out pitching your services to the next big client. So, why are you wasting your employees’ unique skills and expertise?
If you have employees working outside of their zones of genius, it’s time to consider hiring someone to support them. Free up those skilled employees to do the revenue-generating work you hired them to do. Bring in some new hires at the start of their careers who are hungry to prove their worth.
This not only takes some of the burden off of your senior staff, it’s also an investment in your company’s future. And who knows? The freed-up head space and infusion of new ideas might even result in game-changing growth.
Of course, every business owner needs to be strategic about hiring decisions. But keep in mind that needing to add to your team is a sign that your company is healthy and growing. Remember, investing in new hires, with the right help, will not only save you money in the long run, but will help you make more money too! If you’re ready to add to your team, contact us today. Your next fabulous employee is waiting to hear from you!