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Firing someone is one of the hardest things a business owner or manager has to do. Yet, it’s so important to remove employees that are disruptive to your mission or goals. It is also a gift to the other person to give them a chance to find a place where they fit in better or will be happier. Because chances are that they are struggling as well as under-performing. So, by letting someone go, you may actually be doing them a favor. 

This is a valuable lesson I have learned over and over. I have given that chance or wanted to be kind, and just thought maybe they can learn or change to fit our culture. The time, investment and resources spent have gone wasted time and time again. 

I have also heard popular beliefs where you “hire slow and fire fast.” I have found that does not always fit every situation. Hiring slow can cause you to miss out on valuable team members and firing too fast can create chaos. It has to fit your needs and your type of business. 

Here are some of the values I have learned to identify through my own business experiences.  

(1) How much value does this team member add? 

A productive team member accomplishes the goals set by the employer. And then some. Minimum output is rarely enough and very noticed. It’s why so many small businesses fold within three years. An attitude of doing the minimal. This is the fast track to failure. 

Give team members baseline expectations. That will help keep the business on track, but make it clear that you expect more. Going above and beyond will give you the competitive advantage and doing more is what is needed to succeed. 

 (2) How are they making our operation better? 

Growth isn’t always about what a team member takes on. It’s about responsibility they remove in order to create new efficiencies. If your team members are not making life significantly easier and increasing your bandwidth or adding capabilities that were previously lacking, then you should really question their purpose. 

(3) Do they make work enjoyable? 

The emotional value of a team member is as important as quantifiable business metrics. Respect, communication, and compassion might not show up on the bottom line, but they make a big difference between the internal and external interactions and growth. If their personality doesn’t convey what you want, it is an added vulnerability to the uphill battle of entrepreneurship.

Also, I use the below chart to determine whether a candidate is a culture fit:


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