Firing Employees in Startup. Why It May be The Best Decision?

Firing is never easy. In my first three months, I was very anxious in between keeping an old employee who is not reliable enough or recruit the new one. I was worried, “how if the newly recruited is just the same or worse, and we just waste time to teach the new one?”

Hiring and Firing is an art. After a year of recruiting and firing several people, I realise that we must have a great judgment if keeping the employees we think is not reliable enough, they can learn through time and give them enough mentoring. I have some admins and sales team who are very frustrating at the beginning, as I need to build the system and make sure they can have the sense to handle problems independently (as we have limited resources to manage a couple of responsibilities in a startup). But, now, after six months, I can fully trust them, though several have been fired.

To make a better assessment on when to fire someone:

  1. We must define and hold the company’s values that everyone must apply. It becomes our principles whether to keep or let them go
  2. When they have excellent skills, but the characters not, such as no discipline, no integrity, pointing fingers at others, Try to give it a month after coaching, see if they change.
  3. When the person has a great character but lacks in skills, and you have no training budgets (as in the case of startup companies), they might not fit your company unless you can move them to another division.

Thus, if our last decision is to fire the person, It may be the best decision because it would be great for both parties, the company and the person. The employee talent and strength may be shined somewhere else, and the company can also get an opportunity to be the best fit. Thus both don’t waste time.

Remember, in a startup company, growth is what matters, everyone can have the same ideas, but the implementation makes it different through the people who run the business.



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