employees

What does a company’s current staff tell you about the status of a business?

Whenever you’re purchasing a business to grow your entrepreneurial footprint, it’s important to consider all aspects of the business itself. Is the product or service the business provides in high demand? How healthy is the buyer’s market this business serves? There are hundreds of factors entrepreneurs must consider before purchasing a business.

One of the most significant of these considerations is the current staff of the business. Across industries, employees are a company’s most important asset. Regardless of the product or service, the business would be unable to run without employees to unlock the doors during business hours, monitor financial records and assist guests.

Because staff members are such a crucial aspect of the business you’re looking to buy, make sure to ask yourself these questions before taking on that staff.

Competency

Evaluating the competencies of each employee is crucial. Keep in mind that team members have different levels of skill in different areas based on their own experiences and expertise. Rely on past employee reviews and one-on-one interviews with each team member to assess where each employee’s strengths and weaknesses are found.

  • Does each employee understand the purpose and goal of their role?
  • How does each team member think their role contributes to the company’s mission?
  • What problem-solving methods and creative thinking processes does each employee use to tackle issues specific to their roles?
  • In what business-related areas can each employee improve?

Once you’ve determined where each employee falls on the competency spectrum as it relates to the company, identify areas for improvement and outline strategies for addressing those areas.

Chemistry

The chemistry of a team can indicate how productive and efficient the group as a whole can be. A single instance of poor chemistry is much like a loose cog in a clock; it throws off the operation of the entire entity.

To effectively evaluate your team’s chemistry, organize a team building exercise outside of the familiar office environment. Observe which employees work well together and identify any disconnects between team members to properly answer these questions:

  • What is the overall tone and environment of the office? This can range from a formal, structured corporate environment to a laid-back, flexible feel.
  • Are there any noticeable conflicts between team members?
  • How does each team member’s personality contribute to their role?
  • Is there a way the business structure could be rearranged to maximize each employee’s positive characteristics and skills?

Contribution

Assess how each employee contributes to the business model as a whole. Within each company, the employees determine how effective each sector of the business is going to be. Invest in a program that evaluates each employee’s personality characteristics and design the structure of your company to benefit from those differences. To assess what kinds of contributions each team member makes to your new company, look for answers to these questions:

  • Does this employee show proficiency in creative thinking or visualization?
  • Which employees contribute functional, analytical processes to the business model?
  • Are these employees organized and structural?
  • Which employees offer social skills for networking and client support?

By evaluating what kinds of characteristics and processes each employee contributes to the business, you can optimize your processes, assigning staff members with the most relevant contributions to address each facet of your business. Show employees that you care enough to get to know them and value and appreciate their contributions to the ongoing success of the business.

Summary

You may be thinking to yourself, “Well, it’s my company now! I can just replace the staff members who don’t meet my standards with new employees.” Before you get attached to that idea, consider the value that established employees add to the business structure.

You’re likely going to be adjusting to a variety of different processes when you acquire a business. Having long-established staff members who understand the ins and outs of the company can be a beneficial roadmap as you learn to adapt. To benefit yourself and your new business, it’s vital to evaluate the incoming staff your new company will bring with it. Utilize each employee’s strengths to maximize the efficiency of the company and its continued success.