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When does an employee deserve a second chance?

When does an employee deserve a second chance? Alex Tauber and Mike Maples are two Venture Capital investors from the USA and they talk about employee management.

Employees are a company’s most valuable asset. Alex Tauber is Venture Capital (VC) investor in his self-founded company “Aeneas Venture Partners”. He is especially interested in supporting startups in terms of culture, team, team decisions and growth.

Just as important as growth strategy is the team culture, it’s essential for the success and survival of a startup. At the Blackbox workshops in the Silicon Valley for founders from outside the USA, Tauber gave the founders some tips on this. He showed them a clear and simple method for decision-making:

  • If the employee fits into the company’s culture but has some problems with his tasks and requirements, you should work together in order to eliminate those problems. Clear signal: do not part!
  • Should the qualifications of the employee be impeccable, but he doesn’t fit into the team, it’s almost impossible to change his behaviour and this means a clear signal: separate!
  • It’s a very negative signal to your other employees if you allow one of them to behave differently and to ignore the company’s philosophy, if he does everything his own way and spread negative vibes constantly. Mostly, this leads to the complete demotivation of your team and your leadership will be questioned. No matter how hard the decision might be, the only reasonable consequence in this situation is: separate!
  • Before you decide who is “poisoning” your company culture, you should define clear rules that are valid for everyone. They should make it clear how far you can go without crossing boundaries. Consider that people and their tasks go along with their personality, meaning if you are in sales you often have a strong ego which tends to be needing other “freedoms” than others. 

Mike Maples, known as micro investor for example in Twitter, Uber and other well-known names, also explains in his workshops that the wrong employee, lack of competence and little perspective are large obstacles in a team. “If it starts to rot from within it will become critical. An ill-feeling appears faster than it disappears and if motivation is lost every business model, all growth and every product will suffer significantly”, says Maples. 

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