I Have Never Fired Anyone. This is WhyAug 29, 2023
“You will receive an abundance of that which you tolerate”. This is a saying I learned from a wise man a long time ago, and also why many people get fired from their jobs.
- However, if the leaders do this process correctly, they won’t be the ones firing the employees; the employees actually fire themselves.
Back when I was Director of Operations of a large global brand, in charge of a region with many district managers and unit managers, and I did the unit visits with my district managers, one of the things I would strive to do was get to know the unit managers as much as I possibly could.
Why? Because I knew that the unit managers were the most important people in the organization.
Firing vs. letting go
But there was one particular manager, let’s call him Clark, who was a puzzle to me because he was very inconsistent in his performance.
When he was focused and motivated, he was fantastic and delivered proper results, his people followed him and he was on fire! But, if he lost interest or got distracted, he worked very badly.
His district manager was losing patience and wanted to fire him. But I knew there was more about Clark than we could see. And so, in my mission of getting to know Clark a little better, I discovered he had another interest: he was an avid car salesperson.
So much so, that when he got distracted in our business it was because he was spending a lot more time fulfilling this passion.
Along with my district manager, we pushed him to make a decision. Implementing a disciplinary process, we gave him an opportunity to decide between correcting his behavior and remaining as our unit manager or leaving the organization to pursue his dream and passion.
As time went by, his lack of commitment to our organization and the issues with his performance continued. Since he didn’t make an effort to change his behavior and this was a job he clearly wasn’t interested in, we released him.
- But, because we did it the right way, it wasn’t us who fired him. He fired himself.
Something positive about this situation was that, years later, Clark accomplished his dream. I even purchased two vehicles from him because he was, and still is, so good at selling cars. He's now happy, successful, and has a great life.
Help them correct the path
As leaders, it is not our decision whether people will keep a job or not.
Our responsibility as leaders is to clearly define the expectations of their role, and give them the right leadership, training, coaching, and guidance so they have every opportunity to fulfill the expectations they were hired to do.
When their performance drops, we have to give them a chance to get back on track, so they can keep working for us if they want to. This requires a proper, fair process and giving them what they need to perform as they should.
If they don't, that will indicate they are consciously choosing to leave the company. Think about it! You already gave them a warning that the job relationship could end, as well as the opportunity to correct their behavior, and still, they did nothing to change.
If you want to learn more about when to give your employees a chance to stay in your organization, and how to implement this process properly, I invite you to explore our Command Program.
In this best-in-class program, we teach franchisees the processes, procedures, and policies they need to define to have success in their franchise journey.
To learn more about this program, visit https://www.americanfranchiseacademy.com/command-program
Side note: The truth is that I have fired one person in my entire 35-year career. This was someone who was not asking to get fired and did not deserve to get fired. However, my boss demanded that I did, so I fulfilled his expectations.
Eventually, I left that organization because I could not live with the lack of integrity of that action. And it has never happened again.
- How much are you willing to tolerate when it comes to poor performance from your crew?
- How are you correcting bad behavior?
- Are your systems, processes, or culture making your staff have poor performance?
- Are you doing everything you can to save a job before letting go of an employee?
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