The only thing I remember from Donald Trump’s Show The Apprentice is him telling aspiring candidates, “You’re fired!”
He makes firing so easy.
As a business owner and a female boss, I don’t feel as comfortable firing people as Mr. Trump.
Whenever I am about to terminate someone’s employment, I remember that I am removing from them their livelihood. Maybe they live alone, or they have other mouths to feed. People depend on them and their income. And here I am, the big bad boss removing from them their source of income.
I also remember the good side of them. Of the days we used to kid around in the office. Of the days of friendship and camaraderie that comes in working closely side by side. “They are not bad people,” I think to myself. “Only ineffective managers.”
I also see that they are trying very hard to fit in the company. To be productive and to be of help. One of our supervisors for example do put in the hours and effort in her job. “This job removed my depression and gave me purpose,” she said. “I do not feel sad anymore going home to an empty house.”
I am very fortunate to have people who want to work for us. It’s not as easy to find good help. As I’ve written before, many people I meet were Juan Tamads.
That is why when you find decent help, you hope against hope that they can meet your expectations so you can keep them and pay them more. You want to increase their salaries so they will be happier to work for you and be an asset to your business.
My father-in-law tells me that he is looking for a few good qualities in order to keep an employee. They have to have the following qualities — TOMKK:
- Tapat – Integrity, Loyalty and Honesty
- Oras (Having The Hours for the Job) – You are available on the times we need you. The staff is willing to do overtime and work on holidays if necessary
- Malasakit (Empathy for Work) – You understand the business owner. You know to increase your salary, the business has to grow, so you help the owner to grow the business so everyone can benefit
- Kusang Loob (Initiative) – To have initiative for work. Nobody has a gun to your head and you give your work your all
- Kakayahan (Competence) – The ability to perform the job description
Unfortunately, I have to fire someone next week.
She has integrity, the availability and the initiative, but not much the competence.
Under her tutelage, sales had dropped a whopping 30% in two months. That means, if our business earned a million before for example, we would not have only 700,000. Not even enough to pay for our overhead and rent.
The loss of business is directly caused by this person.
As a manager, you must know how to handle your area, your people and yourself. Good managers must know how to act when an issue arises. They must know what to say AND what not to say.
Unfortunately for this manager, she almost always says and does the wrong thing. Consequently, whenever she does something wrong, the staff under her reacts and sales drop.
“I love my job, Bonita,” she said today as if feeling that her job was already in jeopardy. “I get purpose in coming to work for you everyday.”
I have to remain calm, empathetic and firm.
“That’s okay Melissa, I know,” I said. “But in order to keep you, there has to be actual results and performance. And I can see that your sales has really dropped. Your people don’t listen to you.”
I know many of you are wondering why I haven’t booted out yet. If low sales is a result of her being the manager, why haven’t I canned her yet?
I think it’s because like many managers, I don’t like yanking the rugs off people’s feet. I am not as cold-hearted as people think. I also feel bad when I let people go.
But I have to do it.
If I don’t let her go, my business will suffer. Sales will continue to drop because she is what she is and you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.
If I don’t let her go, staff morale will go down. People will not be able to understand how one person can be so ineffective and get away with it, while they have to pull in their fair share. For the organization to remain efficient, I must kick this manager out.
If I don’t let her go, things will start not working out. Bad influence has a way of catching on, and if I don’t stress the importance of performance and outcome in choosing my people, then the company becomes a charity or a political organization, operating without profit.
I have to let her go.
It’s not easy though.
But I have to do it.
So the next time you clap Trump for his audacity to simply fire people and say, “You’re fired,” think that most likely, this is an exception than the rule. It’s a show anyway, and Trump has to do this to keep people in watching his show.
But it’s not like that in real life.
Firing people — though necessary — is harder than it seems. It’s also not easy for the business owner.
But it has to be done.
So I’m sorry Melissa.
But I have to let you go.