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10 Mistakes Business Owners Make

10 Mistakes Business Owners Make

Roberta Chinsky Matuson | HR Matters

I’ve been in business for 13 years and have seen my share of mistakes made by business owners – many that certainly could have been avoided. Here is my top 10 list of common mistakes business owners make, along with advice on how to avoid following suit.

1. Failure to hire for fit.

Think about a job that you worked in that didn’t work out. Was it because you didn’t have the skills to do the job, or was it because your values did not align with the organization’s? I’m betting most likely it was because you didn’t fit into the culture of the organization. Hire for fit, train for skill, and you should be able to slash costly turnover.

2. Poor interviewing skills.

I recently had a former business owner tell me that he would hire people who volunteered to help him out at the events that his company was working at. These people wound up being “Mr. Right” for right now, but turned out to be some of his worst hiring decisions. Learn how to use behavior-based interviewing techniques to assess whether this should be one date or more of a long-term relationship.

3. Expecting employees to act like owners.

The only people who act like owners are people who have a stake in the business. If you want your people to act like owners, share the profits.

4. Tossing people into management based on seniority.

I’ve heard this story so many times I could repeat it without looking at the script. Employee number five has been in the department longer than anyone else, so this employee is promoted to management. It doesn’t matter that he or she is not interested in managing people or that they don’t have the qualities one usually seeks in a manager. This story never has a happy ending. Either the employees who are saddled with this boss get frustrated and quit, or the manager goes down in flames because they never really stood a chance. Hire or promote people who have the desire and the aptitude for a leadership role.

5. Dropping new employees into their chairs without any training.

I understand you may be hiring experienced people who should know exactly what to do, but the reality is that work gets done differently in every organization. Have a well-designed onboarding plan to smoothly assimilate employees into your organization and watch productivity of new hires soar!

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