Man, do I hate to fire people.
I’ve always heard that if you ever get to the point where you don’t hate to fire people, there’s probably something wrong with YOU. So, I guess I’m just keepin’ it real.
That said, I’ve gotten much better at identifying who I need to fire. I’ve even discovered the one key characteristic of the next person who should be shown the door.
It’s (relatively) easy to fire somebody who “deserves it.” People who lie, cheat, steal, bully, or perform at extremely low levels basically nominate themselves to take their rightful place in the unemployment line.
But what about the ok performers? What about the nice guys and gals who are always on time, don’t rock the boat, and perform just enough to earn a checkmark in the “satisfactory” box on their annual review?
As much as I’d love to say you have no room in your organization for these people (i.e., we should only hire A players), the truth is the world is full of these kinds of workers. They don’t seem to hurt your team or company, but they also don’t exactly help you reach new levels of success, either. Almost every company has them and they’re not going away any time soon.
But one of them should.
This person doesn’t overtly cause any problems, gossip, or secretly plan to undermine your authority and steal your job. But he/she is completely dead weight and is holding you back more than you know.
The next person you need to fire is the person who has no interest in personal or professional development. This person is secretly and silently toxic to your team and you are much better off without them.
Now that I’ve said that, you know exactly who I’m talking about. It’s the person who sits with a deadpan expression during staff meetings where you talk about improvement, correction, or development opportunities. It’s the person who never tries to get better as an employee or as a person. It’s the person who shrugs off your offers to send them to a conference, class, or seminar with a nonchalant, “maybe next time.” It’s the person you provide every opportunity to, but they don’t seem to care to take you up on it…even when you’re paying the bill.
This is the same person who will go home to their spouse the day you let them go and say “I don’t get it. I didn’t do anything WRONG.”
I don’t hire people to simply do nothing wrong. I hire people to do their job well and keep getting better at it. They don’t have to be perfect. In fact, that’s the whole point.
The ones who know they’re not perfect AND have the desire, drive, and capability to improve will always make the absolute ideal team members.
The ones who don’t, won’t.