You Need to Fire an Employee
BY BOB PHIPPS
If you’ve pre-qualified your employees before putting them on your payroll, you can avoid a lot of issues. But there are times it just doesn’t work out - they become someone other than the warm, intelligent and open person you saw in the interview. Instead of making excuses, apply these 10 indicators in a fair and consistent manner to see if you’d be better off without them.
- Do you hate the thought of having to work with them? When you get up in the morning are you mentally reviewing your schedule to see if you are “stuck” working with a particular individual? If so, you probably won’t be at your best when you are around them.
- Does the person listen? Do you have to repeat yourself when directing them? Does a customer have to strive to be understood by your employee? Are there frequent drink errors because your employee did not get the information correct? Nothing builds more frustration in a customer than someone who can’t focus down to them does.
- Is the person abusive to customers or management? This person gets some type of pleasure in pointing up how something won’t work, yet rarely has a better idea of what might. They are not trying to help the customer or their manager as much as take them down a peg.
- Does the person only talk about themselves and what they did last night or last weekend? If they can’t take interest in other employees or customers, it can be awfully draining to have to deal with. A person without the back and forth rapport of good social skills is someone who often takes up too much personal time. It also doesn’t build sales - this person is seeking approval from you or the customer and monopolizing time.
- Is the person having a problem with being on time - to work, back from break, back from lunch or leaving early? Tardiness is one of the easiest to correct if someone wants to. It is also the first sign your job is of secondary importance to them.
- Is the person rude or condescending to customers? Just because the employee has answered the same question ten times that day, it is only the first time that particular customer honestly asked that question about a particular product. If your employee can’t embrace that fact and figure out a way to handle it graciously, they are negatively influencing your customers.
- Are their sales at the bottom 20%? More than likely you are spending much too much time trying to rehabilitate and motivate an employee who obviously shouldn’t be in sales; especially if you hired them as a “salesperson.”
- Are you making excuses for them? Refer to your job description and see if they are performing those duties as well as anyone else.
- Are they negative about themselves, life, your products and/or their job? It is an underlying cause of much of what this article is about.
- Are they burned out? Have they gotten so used to the routine that everything is routine? If so they probably are pouring water on the excitement new customers bring when they come to your coffee shop and want to buy something new, different or infrequently ordered.
While one could argue that any one of these on their own may not be a reason to fire your employee, the reality is if you answered yes to one of the above questions - you answered yes to more than one.
It is no crime to fire someone for not doing their job. It is a crime to put up with slackers who are losing you money every day. Once you fire them you may find out they were already looking, that they were giving away free drinks or they told others they never liked their job.
Management means you need to make the tough calls early. Don’t hang on to someone just because they are a warm body. Otherwise, you’ll end up one day with far fewer customers and make the excuse that they all went to a competitor when in fact; those customers just didn’t want to have to deal with your employee who should have been gone long ago.
Bob Phipps is a sales and marketing authority, speaker, trainer, and consultant specializing in the coffee industry with a history of doubling sales. He is the author of the bestseller, You Can Compete. www.retaildoc.com.
Tea & Coffee - July/August, 2003
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