6 Signs You Should Let Someone Go From Your MarCom TeamJun 02, 2022
Finding and hiring the right people for your Marketing and Communications Team is no easy feat. As the CEO or ED of your nonprofit, it’s on you to cultivate a workplace and environment in which your team can perform to the fullest.
But that said, it’s also your team members’ responsibility to perform.
If you have an employee who you find is lacking - in productivity, in positivity, or in probity - it might be a sign that your team is not as strong as you thought.
So how do you know when you must bite the bullet? What are the signs that someone is not the right fit for your organization or your objectives? When do you let someone go from your MarCom Team?
Lack of Performance
The most obvious of the indicators it’s time to let someone go from your nonprofit Marketing Team is a lack of performance. They’re unreliable, they miss deadlines, they are constantly late or entirely absent from meetings, or they don’t accomplish the objectives entrusted to them.
Now, there are ways to deal with unreliable employees, steps you can take to get them on track and on board with the mission and goals of your organization. Give them time, advice, encouragement, and, in a pinch, warnings of potential consequences.
But at some point, if the matter has been addressed (likely more than once) and said employee still fails to come through in the way you need them to, it is probably time to find someone new to fill that position.
Lack of Willingness/Humility to Learn
When hiring for your Marketing and Communications team, you will encounter a wide variety of personalities, with all manner of different competencies and skills. And even the most ideal candidate may not be a perfect fit from day one. It takes time to onboard new talent, to get them accustomed to the company culture and the day-to-day processes and policies of your organization.
If someone lacks the willingness and humility to learn, all the talent in the world means very little. You may find yourself butting heads with your employee, frustrated by the fact that they stubbornly refuse to change or grow with the rest of your group. Perhaps they are too proud to ask for help or listen to advice. Perhaps they think they know better than you. Perhaps they just wanted to coast along without effort.
Regardless, if someone is unable or unwilling to learn, it may be time to part ways, to save yourself further aggravation and difficulty in the future.
Lack of Integrity
Growing up, my dad always taught me that trust is a hard thing to earn and an easy thing to lose. Intelligence and passion may be important, but integrity is paramount, and a lack thereof is simply non-negotiable. This includes a lack of accountability, of ownership, and of acknowledging mistakes/failures.
Dishonesty comes in many forms, large and small. And there is something to be said for giving someone a second chance to do right. But when the trust is broken, whether through small lies or gross misrepresentation of facts, it is likely that there will be more to come. This can lead to divisiveness amongst team members, missed opportunities, organizational failures, and more.
Simply put, if you can’t trust someone, they should not be on your team.
Harmful to Team Morale/Company Culture
Some people are just negative - in their behavior, their mindset, or their communication. Negative behavior can be truly detrimental to team morale or to a nonprofit organization as a whole. Maybe they instigate conflict, they engage in harmful gossip, they pit others against one another, or they stir up drama - often to get what they themselves want, personally and professionally.
If you have an employee whose negative actions and words interfere with the performance of your team, interrupts the smooth workflow that would otherwise exist, or is constantly the source of complaint and concern from other employees, oftentimes your best move is to let that person go.
Lack of Growth Mindset
As the leader of your organization, it is your job to create an environment in which your team can not only accomplish organizational objectives, but also learn, evolve, and develop themselves. To that end, true potential in an employee requires more than the ability to accomplish tasks. It involves a “growth mindset” - that is, the ability to view every hurdle as a learning opportunity, the capacity and willingness to grow as a team and an organization, and the ambition to take on new challenges with a gusto.
If there is an employee that you find yourself unable to envision being great at their job or your nonprofit as a whole, it may be time to reconsider that hire. If you find yourself doubting their passion for the mission of their future success on your team, it is worth considering whether that employee is the right fit.
After all, your own passion for the mission brought you here, and your leadership is what will propel your organization into the future. You need the best team that you can build, that shares your vision for what your nonprofit can and should be. And though it may sound harsh, a team is only as strong as its weakest member.
If one of the links in your chain is weak, it may be time to replace that link. If one of the employees on your team doesn’t share the drive and determination as the rest of your team, it may be time to replace that employee.
Failure to properly vet them in the first place
In a previous blog post, we listed some tools for evaluating the unique strengths of potential hires. These sorts of tools don’t have “wrong answers,” per se, but they are enormously beneficial in terms of evaluating the work ethic, workflow, and work style tendencies of a potential hire.
This is vital when building a team, as it can help you find the right balance of strengths and personality traits overall. Otherwise you may find yourself in a position down the road when a member of that team proves not to be quite the right fit. You may find they don’t match your company culture. You may find they don’t quite have the right skills for a particular position. You may find you have too much of one particular skill set, when you really need someone else with alternate talents to round out your team.
Proper vetting early on will help you catch this sort of hiring mistake ahead of time. If you do make such a mistake, or have already done so in the past, recognize that it is your responsibility to let that person go, for the good of your team and the good of your mission.