Have I Ever Fired Someone? Yes, and I Don’t Regret It and Neither Should You
Firing an employee is never comfortable. I have only fired people that deserved to be fired, that is why I have no regrets about it.
Another reason I do not regret firing someone is because my business is built on airtight systems and processes. Everything we do is documented and measured. If an employee doesn’t live up to expectations, they are given plenty of chances and coached on how to perform better. If they still can’t perform up to expectations or refuse to, then it’s on them.
There is a difference between firing an employee and laying one off due to circumstances. I have had to lay off an employee or two over the past decade for not having further needs for their skillsets. Those hurt and I do regret those, but then again, if those employees had spent more time being more dynamic in their skillsets, they wouldn’t have been obsolete. More on that later in the article.
I was scrolling through LinkedIn last night, and I saw this post from someone in Pakistan.
I couldn’t help but comment on this person’s post because there were so many people commenting in agreement. I assume none of the people in agreement with this statement has ever been business owners.
Here is what I wrote in response.
Hire slow and fire fast.
There is a common saying amongst business coaches and successful business owners. Hire slow and fire fast. What does that mean? It means that you need to take your time in hiring people. Never rush this step, as it is the people that you bring into your company that make or break your company. So you need to take your time and do your due diligence on each prospect. Make sure their values align with your company culture and assess what type of attitude they possess. You want to find people that are not self-serving, and ones that want to help you and your company succeed. Hire people that demonstrate having common sense and that have a proactive nature.
Why do business coaches say fire fast? Often, companies hang on too long to employees that spoil the work environment for others. Also, companies hang onto employees that are incompetent to perform their job duties. Not many employers can say they ever regretted firing someone. I can honestly say, I do not regret firing anyone. A company has a commitment to maintain healthy profit margins, so they can pay all the other employees and vendors. Also, a company cannot sacrifice this responsibility to hold on to employees that add no value.
As far as the gentleman saying that firing an employee will destroy a person’s life plan and his / her family, this is a bit dramatic. Yes, getting fired will create a temporary setback. We also need to put some responsibility on the person that is getting fired. Most of the time a company doesn’t fire someone for the fun of it. There is nearly always a justification for the firing. With that said, it is also the employee’s responsibility to perform up to expectations so they remain in good standing.
Here is a true story for you, I once had to fire a man who was a father and husband because he was viewing inappropriate material at work. Before the firing, he wasn’t performing up to my expectations for nearly three months. I had many talks with him about it and handed him at least one written warning. One day while he was out of his office, we happened to look at his browsing history and saw what he had been doing. I called him immediately and let him go. Was this my fault as the company owner to fire a man that had a family? Am I heartless bastard that doesn’t care about his employees? NO. This blame fell squarely on the shoulders of the employee.
Usually, people that get fired do not own up to their mistakes, and they go spread rumours in the marketplace about how terrible their ex-organisation was for letting them go.
You see, just because you hear of a company firing an employee, doesn’t mean that company is automatically evil. It is highly likely that the fired employee did something to deserve being fired. Usually, people that get fired do not own up to their mistakes, and they go spread rumours in the marketplace about how terrible their ex-organisation was for letting them go. However, any sensible person knows there are two sides to every story. Also, nothing is preventing an ex-employee from spreading rumours about his ex-company, but a company is bound by law NOT to disclose why they fired the person. So yes, you always hear one side of this story. Be careful what you listen to.
To the gentleman that wrote the post on LinkedIn, I don’t know what circumstances lead you to write what you wrote; the truth is you might not know the “real” details either. You might be going on hearsay or hearing a fabricated truth from the person fired. Companies have a right to hire and fire people and employees have a right to join and quit.
One thing is for sure, a company owner has to remain loyal to his company because many people depend on it, and they can’t hold onto dead weight just for the sake of it. It is the responsibility of the owner to provide all the tools, resources, training and a healthy work environment to give their employees the best chances to succeed. It is also up to the employees to remain productive and add value too if the leader has provided everything needed.
If you have also provided all the things mentioned above and given your employees proper training, warnings, coaching and they still don’t perform, then you shouldn’t regret firing them either. They just aren’t a good fit for your organisation. Both parties would be better off separating. Leave comments below and tell me what you think!