Business Coach | Fire the Uninspired
This business coach post explains how and why you must fire the uninspired.
If you are going to run a successful business, you are going to have to be committed to your customers 100% of the time. When I am consulting and a business coach to clients, I have to constantly remind them: These people (customers) are your boss and should be revered as such. What they say goes. You must absolutely be committed to listening and learning from your customers. If your customers begin to tell you that they don’t like a certain product or service that you offer or an employee that you have working for you, you must be willing to act based upon their feedback if you find it to be factual. Simply put, if they say that your employee treated them rudely or didn’t seem to care about them, you have a problem. However, you have a bigger problem if you refuse to take action because you are 100% committed to the assumption that your employees are right 100% of the time.
This business coach concept was very tough for me to learn early on in my business career because I thought that everyone was a “good person” and that some employees “just needed some more time” or that some employees “were just going through some stuff.” I am personally responsible for limiting our company’s growth early on because I simply was unwilling to fire the people whom I could not inspire. And to make problems worse, I only fellow-shipped with other small business owners who encouraged me to “stay committed to your people and they will eventually turn around.” They would say other things like, “You know a lot of customers out there are just wackos!” However, as I began to ponder their feedback and the advice they were giving me, I began to ask myself, “Do I really want to be like them? Do I really want to be 55 years old and still running a small and crappy business with zero growth potential? Do I really want to be stuck without any potential for business growth just because a few employees are unwilling to move to Dallas? Do I really want to create a poor customer experience just because a few employees are unwilling to follow the system every time?”
Business Coach Analysis: Top Five Reasons Most Small To Medium Sized Businesses Will Not Fire People Whom They Cannot Inspire:
- They’re Good Friends – What makes it tough in the world of small business is that everyone starts to become friends over time. We start to feel bad inside because we know that when we fire someone, we are going to have to fire “our first employee” or “the person who first helped us to develop our systems.” We start to hold on to feelings of nostalgia. We start to remember the “good old days,” when we first started growing the company together and we feel trapped. This is flawed thinking. Remember, you never truly fire anybody when you are candid about your employee’s lack of performance. They are simply choosing not to conform to your policies and to do things the right way. They are forcing you to fire them. Remember, God did not feel guilty when he kicked Adam and Eve out of Eden. God is not currently going to some angelic counselor to deal with the guilt associated with judging others. My friend, judge your employees in terms of their work performance and be candid, because if you don’t your customers certainly will.
- We’re Too Busy Right Now – You’ll have to wait until “after the busy season.” When you own and/or operate any business that is not yet huge, you are always “in a busy season” and “one person short.” Personally, I have found that the larger we have gotten, the more easy it has become to manage, hire, and fire. It’s when you are small and mid-sized that things are tough. It’s tough to fire a sales person who refuses to work when you only have two sales people. It’s really tough to fire 50% of your workforce. Trust me, I know. But everyday that you keep that under-performing and non-inspired employee working for you, they are doing you damage. They are convincing potential customers not to do business with you because of their bad attitude and they are taking up a spot on your roster that you could give to someone else who is a better employee with a better work ethic and a bigger desire to succeed. Regardless of how busy you are, you have to fire under-performers as soon as possible. You have to take action to get those weeds out of your business garden.
- Their Kids Will Starve – You don’t want to make anyone’s family starve. Yet again friend, these feelings of guilt are not healthy when you are dealing with the firing of a negligent employee. Remember, the employee is the one choosing to bring a lack of motivation to the workplace, not you. Remember because you are now candid with everyone, they know exactly where they stand and they have known for some time that they are doing a poor job when it comes to work performance. If they actually resort to using their family as hostages to guilt you into continuing their employment with your company, then they are a sick freak and a bad employee. No person with a fully functional soul would be willing to intentionally perform at a substandard level when they have a wife or kids to support. Although I do not understand the mindset of anyone who intentionally does a poor job at work, I really don’t understand how anyone with a family they are supporting could intentionally do a terrible job at work. The only problem here is that some people don’t have a fully functional soul. Some people just don’t care. Some people do not have personal pride. In the society in which we live, we are constantly told that “we are wrong if we judge people.” From an eternal perspective, it is true that “only God can judge them.” However, from an earthly perspective, we all judge people. The moment we meet somebody for the first time, we make a quick snap-judgment about whether we like the person or not. There are countless studies and endless research that has shown this to be the case. Stop feeling bad if you have to judge an employee “as doing a bad job.” You are not saying, “You are bad person,” you are simply saying, “You are doing such a bad job so consistently and choosing to not improve, so we are being forced to fire you.”
- The Fallout Will Kill Us All! – You’re worried about what will happen when the employee leaves. I have met countless entrepreneurs who simply struggle to fire someone whom they know must be let go because they are worried about what will happen. In their mind they keep thinking, “If I say this, then they’ll say that. If they say that, then it’ll escalate, and I’ll say that as well.” My friend, to make it easy, let me break it down for you like this.
- Business Coach Truth: IF YOU DO NOT FIRE THIS PERSON, YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE GOING TO FIRE YOU AND YOUR TOP PEOPLE WILL LEAVE BECAUSE THEY CAN’T STAND THE SIGHT OF MEDIOCRITY.
- Business Coach Truth: IF YOU DO FIRE THEM, THIS CRAPPY EMPLOYEE MIGHT GO OUT AND GO TO WORK FOR YOUR COMPETITION, IN WHICH CASE YOU WILL BENEFIT BECAUSE YOU JUST GAVE YOUR DISEASE TO SOMEONE ELSE AND NOW YOU ARE DISEASE FREE.
- Business Coach Truth: IF YOU DO FIRE THEM, THIS BAD EMPLOYEE WITH A CHRONICALLY BAD WORK ETHIC WILL SOON GO AND TELL HIS OR HER FRIENDS, WHO KNOW THEM AS BEING SOMEONE WITH A BAD WORK ETHIC, HOW TERRIBLE YOU ARE. BECAUSE BIRDS OF A FEATHER TEND TO FLOCK TOGETHER, THERE IS NO LOSS THERE.
- IF YOU DO FIRE THEM, LET’S ASSUME THAT THIS PERSON HAS GREAT FRIENDS WHO HAVE A SOLID WORK ETHIC. SOLID PEOPLE KNOW THAT GREAT COMPANIES DO NOT MAKE A HABIT OF FIRING GREAT PEOPLE. ALL QUALITY PEOPLE HAVE ENOUGH DISCERNMENT TO KNOW: EMPLOYEES ARE NOT FIRED FOR BEING GREAT; THEY ARE FIRED FOR BEING TERRIBLE EMPLOYEES.
5. Fear of Confrontation – If you simply can’t muster up the courage to fire someone, know you are not alone, but you are weak. If this is the case and you are a business owner, you are in trouble. If this is your problem, you are either going to have to hire someone who has the courage of their convictions to fire someone or you are going to accept that fact that your business and your life is going to be awful because you lack courage. If this is your problem, now is the time to MAN UP (or WOMAN UP) and make it happen. Get serious about your life and take control.
“Control your destiny or somebody else will.” – Jack Welch (Former CEO of GE)
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