I have to admit, I’m really good at writing about firing people and I’m really bad at following my own advice. Every time my business has been less than spectacular, it has been a case of me not believing… me. I am about to give you very good advice and maybe the problems that have come to me won’t come to you. Let that be a lesson you can learn at my expense; it’s on the house!
Here it comes: Fire someone. We’ll all feel better.
You’ll feel better for having gotten rid of a dead weight employee who was most likely a discipline problem and an under-performer even on those days he accidentally made it to work on time. You can agonize over the decision if you want to feel better about yourself, but trust me… this is gonna feel good tomorrow!
You’ll walk into your office and immediately notice a change in the atmosphere and you’ll wonder why, in the name of good sense, you didn’t do this sooner.
Your team will feel better, too! Picture your employees as one big, happy family, all lined up for a group photo. This photo is going to be very expensive. It will be used in your marketing materials for the foreseeable future. You’ve even decided to put captions naming each employee and their department so your long term customers can finally put a face to that voice on the phone. This is a big, hairy deal.
Before you cue the famous photographer, is there anything you’d like to know about the small crowd you have assembled on the steps of your headquarters building?
Let me make it easier.
Of all the folks standing there in fresh uniforms and name tags, which one is least likely to show up Monday? That’s the one… fire him!
And when he’s gone, listen. You’ll hear a sigh of relief. You will hear comments like, “I’d been carrying that turkey so long, my back was about to break.” Most likely your will hear from your better employees that they had considered leaving just to get away from the situation. It’s our belief that the bottom ten percent run off the top ten percent.
Here’s the surprise: If you are new to management, you need to know that the employee you show to the door is likely to be the most relieved of all!
Here’s a quick quiz for you newbies. Are your problem employees more likely to be your most technically capable employees? The answer is…Absolutely Not! Poor performers almost always know they are poor performers. The Scientologists will tell you that the work we enjoy just happens to be the work we are good at. If you aren’t skilled at your work, you aren’t likely to like your job. And that will manifest itself in the form of tardiness, carelessness… and the proverbial bad attitude. This fact alone should be enough to send you looking to see if your training program is up to par.
And nobody wakes up in the morning saying, “I am such a goof. I can’t wait to get to work and look stupid.” Find this employee and extend an invitation to go work somewhere they can be successful… and happy!
One thing you should keep in mind: You cannot win on a losing team. If you can’t control the hiring and training and find yourself playing on a losing team, the only sane thing to do is to fire yourself. Life’s too short to work where you aren’t happy.
Don’t stop now! A good firing doesn’t require a poor performer to make it an event. Nope, you can throw a lynching party for marginal employees too! Okay, that may be over the top. So let’s modify it by leaving you with a key thought:
A business can expand in direct relation to the number of winning employees
you are able to hire and nourish. Hiring should not follow sales. Hiring will lead sales.
Likewise it may be poor hiring and training that is holding you back. So fire someone! We’ll all feel better!