CVC Succcess Group coaches Jerry & Sheryl Isenhour
One of the hardest challenges of an employer is when to make a decision to terminate a member of their staff. But there is also a fateful day that challenges every employer, and that is the day that a key member of their team decides is it time to fire the company and go elsewhere. Join Jerry and Sheryl this week as they share some thoughts over both of these and how to present from having to face this fateful decision, and if you do how do you handle it.
Jerry Isenhour: You know, sometimes it’s time for a change. In business we often come up with the following question that we ask ourselves. In fact, you may be asking yourself this question this week, or today, or next week. What’s that question? Is it time to terminate a member of your team? This is something that every leader must deal with on occasion. So, “stay tuned”, as Paul Harvey said, “while I give you the rest of the story”.
The question is, why are you facing the decision of termination?
Here’s the question for you today. Here’s where so many people are at when they’re leaders all too often. Many times, we have an employee. It could be someone that’s been with you for just a short period of time, but it might also be a long-time member of your team, and now today as their manager, you’re faced with this decision: do we terminate this person? Because of the problems we’re having, because this person doesn’t fit in, because of any number of reasons. Stay with me while I take you through some of the reasons. When it comes to a decision like this, if we have a heart, if we have a conscience, this is something that causes us to lose sleep. It goes through our minds about this person’s family. How this person depends on us. There could be any number of reasons why we’re having to make this decision and I’m going to give you a few and you may have a few that you would add to this, but as I think about this, these are the reasons that come to mind.
Do they not match your culture?
Perhaps they are a disruptive member of our team. Or they simply don’t match up with our culture. They may refuse to play well with the others on the team. They often fail to follow our systems. They disappoint our customers and often, they disappoint us as management. Or it could be even deeper questions or what you roll through your mind right now. What are the things that go through your mind when you consider termination of an individual? What’s going through your mind at that point? What are you thinking? It could be reasons that are deep. You know you need to terminate them, but then in your mind you’re thinking “But I need them! He or she, they can really sell. I can’t afford to lose the sales that will go out the door with this person.” We also think “If I fire him or her, who’s going to do the job?” And it gets even worse which is “How much will it cost us if we terminate them? Will it cost us sales? Will it cost us profits? Will I have a cost of training someone else?”
Often we have delayed the decision too long!
But you know, no matter what your reasons are, the decision to terminate or fire someone is often one that’s been delayed way too long and where the damage is occurring each and every day they are on your team but we just don’t want to face the reality of what we have to do as the leader. So, if any of these are coming up to you, I must ask you a question: when did this problem start? When did you notice it and when did you as the leader decide and start to act? I love to quote people and here I quote one of my favorite TV shows for years, the Andy Griffith Show, hopefully you’ve watched it. Do you remember the bumbling deputy, Barney Fife? He was the jokester to Andy being the straight man, but one of the things that Barney always wanted to do was offer his wisdom to Andy and to others on the show. Barney even attempted to tell Andy how to raise his son Opie, one of the phrases that Barney used stands out to me, “Andy, you’ve got to nip it in the bud”. And he would reinforce his words with “nip it”. You could even go onto YouTube and see a video that has Barney Fife in it saying, “Nip it in the bud. Just nip it” or another “Nip it, nip it, nip it”.
What actions have you taken to avert this decision?
Let me ask you a question. As the leader, what actions have you taken to nip it in the bud? What steps did you take? Did you have the hard conversations to effect change in that person? Or did you just simply hold it in until you were ready to explode? Did you fail to have that hard conversation that would have served to nip it in the bud? You see as a leader, as a manager, you also must be a coach and the effective leader of today doesn’t ‘boss’, rather he coaches those he leads. Let me ask you this, did you ever listen? Did you ever really listen to the frustrations this person had, and did you listen to understand their thoughts? Or did you just listen to prepare a reply, a reply that may not have provided any correction or where the lightbulb never went off with the team member who needed the wisdom that you needed to share? You see, as a leader we must be able to listen to the words of those we lead. Listen to the words to understand them because it’s a whole lot effective and a much lower cost than firing and termination. Certainly, there’s going to be time for termination and firing is going to be required at times and in some situations, it’s a part of your job and you’re going to have to do it if you don’t have productive and effective members on your team.
Do you have people not making the grade?
You see, a lot of people are also seeing these people that are in the company and not making the grade, perhaps you as the owner may have made a decision that you want to scale your company to a larger level, but this is not sitting well with the long-time members of your team. They are not getting it. You haven’t told them your vision and more than likely you haven’t shared where they fit into that vision. Or how your vision will benefit them. So often we as managers are oblivious to the needs of what’s happening around us, and often the people that work for us are oblivious to the needs for the change that you may be implementing. Many great employees may come to the conclusion that it’s time to possibly fire you as their employer and nothing is more disheartening to an employer than a long-time member of your team deciding for them that the right choice is to head for new pastures. Was it simply time where a break-up had to occur, or could this break-up have been averted if we’d taken the right action?
What does Brandi Biswell do?
One of our team members here at CVC Success Group is a lady by the name Brandi Biswell. She had developed and taught some phenomenal courses explaining the systems she uses with the communication process she calls the ‘stay’ interview. Brandi’s processes are a fantastic way to have the hard conversations and to find out how your team members feel about working on your team. One of the things that Brandi shares in this is the ability to listen to your employees, to predict their unhappiness and see if you can turn these things around before they become major in this.
What does Sheryl Isenhour do?
Another of our team members is Sheryl Isenhour. She is combining her Ziglar coaching skills and her DiSC assessment skills to be able to communicate effectively with people. Often, she is sitting and doing a DISC debriefing with a member of someone’s team. It might be a member of your team, and one of the things that we’ve found out is that Sheryl can detect many times the walls that may well be causing failure.
What does Donovan Blanks do?
Another person on our team that can detect failure that people don’t see is Donovan Blanks. He does Ride-Along training, gets out in the field with team members, building a relationship with the members of the team. We have found that Donovan been able to do is find out what is making people unhappy. And the result of this unhappiness is that productivity has dropped, their sales have dropped, their culture is dropping, they’re just not a part of the team anymore. So that’s another person that’s giving us some great answers. This is the question for you. What do you do to find out these answers? Are you communicating with your people? Do you know what their behavior patterns are? Do you have someone else that can listen to them and transfer the information to you?
Communication is the answer to so many problems.
You see, communication and nip-it-in-the-bud are great processes but at times there is going to be a need to provide a team member with their freedom. Sometimes they need that freedom to leave you and go find what makes them happy. That’s one of the things that one of my coaches and mentors has often shared, his name is Larry Winget. It’s time to grant them their freedom and pursue something that makes them happy. These are the things we must look at if we’re going to build a team, a high impact team. You see, you can’t delay your actions too long, which we often do. Many people just delay the conversations, they delay the needed action, they bottle it up inside themselves. I often listen to the manager who has pondered this action for way, way too long because all the fears come up. Those lost sales. What’s going to happen? Where are we going to go? How are we going to replace them? But then they take the required action and we see the members of the team develop an entirely new culture. What was the reason? Because the employer, the manager, the coach, he removed the rotten apple and it gave this team renewed life and a new energy.
As the leader it’s your job to coach!
As the leader it’s your job to coach and if they refuse to be coached, you as a leader must take the required action. That is your role and why you are the leader, not just to be the boss but to be the coach, to take your people to excellence.
A new segment for our podcast Sheryl’s Tips Of Wisdom.
We have a new segment here on our podcast that we’re going to start adding every week, to add more value to our broadcast. We are going to tun the mic over to one of the best friends I have, a partner in life and a person that works in my business and helps a lot of people. We’re going to call this “Sheryl’s Tips of Wisdom”. I’m going to turn the mic over to Sheryl, and Sheryl’s going to talk to you and share her thoughts for the day. Maybe the same as mine, could be something differently because I told her “it’s whatever you want to say”.
Does your personality govern your abilities?
Sheryl Isenhour: Does your personality have anything to do with your ability to fire people? Let’s face it, firing is never easy, well, unless you do it in a time of anger and then it’s emotion instead of your personality. Many times, you regret that you did it in the time of anger, but when you use your personality to fire, then you understand the reasoning. When we’re not angry, we tend to let our personality get in the way of letting us take someone and, as Jerry has said in the past, set them free, because we have so many things involved. So, where does your personality fit into your ability? Do you see rainbows and unicorns? Do you hate conflict? Do you have this feeling of always having to be nice?
Has everyone got to like you?
Everyone must like you and hurting them is not your nature, that’s your personality. You have a hard time firing people because you don’t have what it takes to fulfill what you need to do in letting them go. Or are you the person that these people need to buy into your company ideas and it’s more important than the person is? Sometimes that’s the situation of your personality. Is it all about the company at all cost? Not that you’re not nice, but the business objective overplays the people. Or are you a Spock as he was in Star Trek? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. And then Captain Kirk even added the needs of the one.
So where you you fit as a manager and coach?
So where do you fit? What initiated the need to fire someone, and can you do it and can you keep the emotion out? Because when emotion gets in the way, then your personality cannot lead and help you fire them because it was necessary. Okay, there are companies out there that fire people for companies like yours when you don’t have the ability to do it, and especially if you’re doing it in a mass lay-off. Now, why would someone find it easier to pay someone to fire their employees and why is it easier for the people in the companies to fire these people? It’s because they don’t know them. They don’t know their families. They don’t know the hardships it would bring to the family. They don’t know the hardship it would bring to your company; they have no skin in the game. These are the reasons that it is so hard for us to fire people, we know them. They either have been friends, are friends, and you’ve got a lot of time invested in them, you’re afraid to lose the number of hours that you’ve invested into this person.
Sometimes can it not be more expansive to keep this person that it is to lose them? Are they ruining your good employees? Will they cause you to have to fire two instead of just one? Again, do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one?
With this, I’m going to turn it back over to Jerry and let him finish up this particular day.
This podcast has been about firing people.
Jerry Isenhour: This edition of our podcast is about firing people, but you could also view it as episode about someone that works for you that has decided it is time to try something new. Think about it. Have you got a key person in your employment that you are unaware that they are unhappy? Do you have a person who’s not in a good place? Are you aware of this? And what happens if this person decides today that this is it and they come up and say, “Boss, I need to talk to you”? And they say, “I’m turning in my notice” or “I’m just quitting”, whatever the case may be.
Did you ever watch Up In The Air?
Every time I talk about firing, I remember a movie I watched one time entitled “Up in the Air” and it starred George Clooney, he was a contractor like Sheryl talked about in her segment that people, corporate America, hired him to come in and fire their people. It was easy for George in the movie. Why? Because he didn’t have a relationship with these people. He had a job to do and his job was to terminate their employment. To give them the freedom, like we talked about, of going after what would make them happy in life. Same thing that Larry Winget says when he talks about firing people. So, termination, firing, if you are the leader, if you are the manger, this is probably going to be a part of your life. People resigning, turning in their notices, going to follow greener pastures, it’s a part of your life and your career. This is something that none of us likes to talk about, none of us likes to do this. Well, I’m going to correct that. Some people do enjoy doing it, they get off on it. It really doesn’t bother them to fire someone. I can remember a guy in my mix group. People used to talk about firing and he’d say “Hey man, if you need someone fire them, I’ll fire them for a dollar each, get them in the phone, I enjoy firing people”. But that’s not the average human being, it’s really not. But it’s a thing that you as a leader have got to get together and be able to deal with because at times termination is going to be the resort you’re going to have to follow. But on the other hand, losing good people that could go to work for your competitor or even become your competitor, is that really and truly the course that you want to follow?
And with that, we’re going to end this week’s episode of the Chimney and Fireplace Success Network. This is Jerry Isenhour. Hope you’ve enjoyed. Hope you enjoyed tuning in to myself and Sheryl, and she’s going to be doing her regular segment on every podcast going down. I’m going to call it “Sheryl’s Tit-bits of Wisdom”. It may follow up what I’m saying and it may be something strictly from her, but use this to grow yourself, to grow your company, to move to the next level. Again, my name is Jerry Isenhour, appreciate you tuning in to us. If we can help you reach your business dreams, reach out to us here at CVC Success Group. It’s as simple as an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may just have the systems and the processes and the tools that you’ve been looking for to turn those business dreams into your business realities. Talk to you next week!
Narrator: Thanks for joining us here each week at the Chimney and Fireplace Success Network, sponsored by CVC Success Group, providing you the coaching and educational outreach services you need to move to your dream destination in business and in life.