There are two principles taught at The Business Academy that should form the basis of your decisions to retain staff or let them go.
- A position is better left unfilled than filled by an incompetent person.
- A staff member should produce five to ten times their pay in value or revenue for the company.
Violation of these two principles creates the following justifications and their adverse conditions:
“She’s my biller and is the only one who knows the system.” (The biller is disliked by most, if not all, the other staff and her billing is backlogged. When asked why it’s backlogged, she explains it away with various problems and blame.)
“The clients and staff love him.” (He’s the kindly old fumbler, who loyally shows up to work every day but produces almost nothing except bad advice and stories about the early days of the company.)
“She’s become a good friend.” (The “good friend” arrives late every day and takes one day off out of every five. When she is present, she spends most of her time hanging out with you and chatting instead of working.)
“He has problems in his personal life, and if I fired him I’m worried that it would be too much for him to take.” (The guy has had problems in his personal life for the last six years. And he seems to crash from one disaster to another, each one affecting the workplace slightly more than the last one. The only problem he doesn’t have is taking his paycheck.)
“She’s the only one that knows how to do X, Y, and Z. And I have no time to train anyone else to do it.” (This kind of staff member uses their secret knowledge of how the WiFi works or where all the codes are or something similar to justify their super-low production.)
I’m sure you can think of many other “reasons” business owners give themselves for keeping substandard staff around.
We aren’t even talking about really destructive, vindictive, or evil people here. That would be the topic of another article. We are just talking about deadwood or miserably low producers.
If you have such substandard staff in your business the first thing you must clarify for yourself is: What am I doing?
Because it’s either:
- Running some sort of charity for downtrodden, miserable nonproducers that you are funding on your own dime.
- Having difficulty because you’re trying to run a viable, thriving and expanding business that makes a difference in the world and provides fulfilling careers for productive staff.
If it’s B. Keep reading.
Let’s say you have a biller named Bessie. She sort of gets the job done, but she’s super-miserable, complains, and criticizes. Other staff avoid her like the plague.
Why don’t you just remove her and train someone else to do the exact same job? Replace her with someone who is not a fountain of nastiness—someone who brings your team’s spirits up. The truth is that her job can be learned, probably faster and better by any bright person.
So why tolerate her for more than a minute?
Then there’s marketer Jim, who has been resting on his laurels for years. In the distant past, he brought in fifteen new patients a week. He became a good friend of yours. You went hunting together a few times. You met his family. There was that cool drunken time on his brother’s boat when you guys caught that big fish!
However, for the last two years, he has just brought in one or two new patients a week. Despite everything you have done to help him improve his production level, nothing has happened.
Sure. He hit some rough times, but you let it slide longer than you should have because “he’s a friend.” You didn’t act because you felt sorry for him, and you still remember his laughing ruddy face when he reeled in that big delicious snapper that he let you take home. But now your business is suffering, and your other staff are secretly outraged that you keep this guy on the payroll.
What’s it going to take before you do something to resolve the situation?
Every single nonproductive, distractive, or substandard employee is costing you money—large amounts of money. Besides giving your weekly donation to their piggy bank, there’s much more for you to consider here.
The examples above and below of poor staff all cost you money. Income that you should have made that you didn’t make. Here are some other examples that can be observed in varying degrees:
- They depress the morale of the staff and production suffers.
- They make the hardworking staff feel resentful toward you for keeping them on.
- They make costly mistakes.
- They require the work of two other staff members to handle their errors.
- They hog-tie your attention and time.
I could go on and on, but let’s get back your question: What am I doing?
Is it A or is it B?
There are people out there DYING for a chance to show you what they can do to help make your dreams become a reality!
Why settle for anything less?