Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Evaluate Your Work Force

Before you hire new employees, take a closer look at the ones you already have.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Before you can decide whether or not to grow by hiring employees, you need to know what you've already got in the way of help, and whether or not your work force is going to limit or expand your opportunities to grow.

But evaluating a work force is more than a matter of counting heads and adding up salaries. You also need to assess the productivity levels of your workers, as well as their training, skills, turnover, absenteeism rates and other factors. This is important for several reasons. For instance, say you're contemplating adding employees so you can grow. Your evaluation turns up low levels of both productivity and training. In this case, you may be better off training the workers you've already got. This could increase productivity enough to give you room for expansion without adding employees.

Excerpted from Grow Your Business