Firing someone really sucks! It’s just not fun even when the person being fired is a jerk. But sometimes it’s necessary, even critical to the life of your business.
I remember the first time that I had to fire someone. It took me an hour. He was a nice guy in a sales role and he couldn’t sell. He tried; I tried; we tried; nothing worked and lost opportunities were stacking up. I called him into the conference room and started with about ten minutes of “golly gee’s, Uh, I need to talk with you, uh, about something….It’s not working out…”
Then he started in with asking me why I would do something like this to him. “I’m really trying and…” Then I went on for thirty minutes explaining everything except the telling him he couldn’t sell and it was the best for both of us to move on. Needless to say it was painful for both of us.
Something had to change.
I read a quote by businessman and author, Harvey Mackay that made a lot of sense. He said, “It’s not the people you fire that make your life miserable, it’s the people you don’t fire who make your life miserable!”
If you’re in business, you’ll learn how to fire people. However the harder lesson is to be able to see the consequences of not eliminating a person and the damage that can be done if you don’t take some action. Years later, I fired the top salesperson in our organization. It was a risk of course, but once I quit focusing solely on his sales production and started looking at his overall contribution my eyes opened. In this case the salesperson was a bully to other team members; demanding and demeaning. Two months after his dismissal, sales went up substantially. The team was stronger and more cohesive. By releasing this person I had actually healed my team and probably saved the company.
Believing that any employee is untouchable is a dangerous mentality to fall in to. Fearing what “Could” happen if they were gone puts you into a “SURVIVAL” mentality versus disciplining yourself to a “Strive to Thrive” way of thinking. In fact an interesting thing can happen. The fallout I’ve seen is where good employees lose faith in you as their manager/leader, because you don’t take action, so they move on and the dominoes begin to fall.
In today’s business environment, your job as a business owner, manager and leader is to attract and keep good people, and you need to do everything possible to protect them from any negative influences. No one person is indispensible, particularly if their presence is keeping others on your team from realizing their full potential. It’s never easy but always keep your goals in mind and build a team based on your values and a standard of excellence. Don’t be held hostage by one personality. Strive to build and grow and you will be rewarded.
If you need some help with building your team, give me a call or write. This is what I do, it’s the business I’m in and I’m open for business. Good luck,