I often hear from someone lamenting about an employee. They got in a hurry to hire and now they are paying for it. Maybe they didn’t check references, or they promised a pay rate that doesn’t match the employee’s level of work. Now they need advice on how to correct the mistake.

Too many of these business owners keep a problem employee long after they should have been transferred to the competition. Gang, when it is time to turn somebody loose, just do it. Cut the crap and cut them loose. Follow the procedures outlined in your employee manual.

How do you know when that time has arrived? The truth is, if you think it’s time to terminate an employee, it’s probably overdue. Get on it, get it done and get back to providing a service to your clients.

I’ll make myself unpopular when I say that you have to remain detached from your employees. You may have all kinds of reasons why you love, support and worry about your employees, but let me ask, why are you in business? Are you in business to hire and worry about people? If yes, go for it, but that path stands a good chance of taking you right out of business. You must remain objective and I know it’s not easy. But if you feel emotions getting in the way of a decision that you know down deep inside needs to be made, that’s a warning sign you’re too involved.

You’re in business to provide a service and make a profit doing it. You’re not in business to provide jobs. If you’re successful, you’ll provide jobs for the right people. And when it comes time to hire someone, follow the ground rules outlined in our book, Markup & Profit, A Contractor’s Guide Revisited.

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