Would You Re-Hire Your Team Members?
Developing and adding new talent to the team is a never-ending process for great leaders. This includes deciding what roles need a talent upgrade. For a variety of reasons, the skills of some team members plateau and do not keep pace with colleagues or the evolving challenges in the workplace. Even with a significant investment in skill development, there may be a team member or two that cannot compete, especially when compared to peers in the industry.
It is incumbent for leaders to put the best team on the field at all times. Anything less places the best interests of an individual above the team. Great leaders refuse to make that choice. They continually assess and re-assess the skills, talents and acumen of current team members to ascertain where weakness or average performance can undermine the team.
The best leaders remind themselves it is their job to develop B & C players into A players. With the exception of professional sports teams, adding and subtracting team members based only on the best talent available in the marketplace is a recipe for a free-agent culture where team morale is the only quality lower than team commitment.
Nonetheless, there comes a moment in time when continuing to invest in a team member with perennial average or poor performance is no longer the best use of time or resources. The question is: How do we know when the time has come to upgrade talent?
One popular pathway forward to reach this conclusion is to ask a more specific question: Would you re-hire your team members for their current roles?
By asking and answering this critical question, the best leaders quickly conclude where investment is needed and when moving on from a given team member is the best course of action. This is never an easy call and intense improvement plans are always the best choice for good leaders to salvage mediocre colleagues.
The question of who you would re-hire is also instructive for another reason. If a leader were to conclude they would likely not re-hire a large swath of the current team, they must first look in the mirror and assess the quality of their own leadership skills. Leaders who can’t make others better are not very good leaders. Maybe we shouldn’t re-hire you instead.