I’ve hired lots of people in my career that I wish I hadn’t. But hiring them was never the problem—the problem was not firing them fast enough!
Your gut instinct will rarely be wrong when it tells you a person is not a good fit with your business or is simply not worth paying what you are paying them. In fact, I can’t think of one case where I fired someone I shouldn’t have. One of my weaknesses is not firing employees when I know it’s time for them to go. I have waited weeks, sometimes months, to try to find the right time to part with the least possible acrimony. The truth of the matter is that this seemingly humane approach hurts both parties.
It hurts you by keeping incompatible or underperforming employees around who don’t contribute to productivity (or worse, hinder it). Sure, these employees keep getting their checks, but it hurts them because they are working dead-end jobs with no future. It’s far kinder to let them go so that they can find a compatible company and position where they can be happy and thrive. And the sooner you let them do that by cutting them loose, the better.
By all means, be generous with your compensation if you like. Give them a month’s pay instead of two weeks or keep them on part time as a consultant for enough time to get another job. But do not put off the inevitable conversation even one day longer than you have to!
Keeping people beyond their “sell-by date” (I am not talking age here) has cost me millions. Do not let it happen to you.
As soon as you know, it’s time for them to go.
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