What Do Donald Trump, Jack Welch, and I Have in Common?

The other night at dinner, my seven-year-old son Connor asked, “Mom, is it easy to fire people?”

I told him it was the hardest thing that any boss has to do.

His next question was, “Then why do you do it?”

I asked him a simple question: “Do you remember when Delaine (his three-year-old sister) bit the little boy in the park and we took her home and gave her a time-out?” He nodded.

“Do you think I should have given you a time out as well?”

“Of course not,” he said. “I didn’t bite the kid.”

I explained that I have an obligation to every single person in the ETR organization. I cannot let one person have a negative effect on 26 other people’s lives. And keeping an employee who is not doing his job properly, or who is disruptive to her co-workers, is not fair to the company as a whole.

It seems like such a simple concept to rid your organization of sub-par players. Yet it is one of the largest problems I see among entrepreneurs and fledgling business builders. They have an extremely hard time firing people.

Instead of confronting the situation head on, they start taking over the sub-par employee’s tasks or parsing them out to the good employees. But instead of helping, this causes resentment and anger. And soon the good employees start jumping ship.

Don’t let this happen to you. It is your business, and so it is your responsibility to create and maintain a culture that is conducive to productivity.

If you have been toying with the idea of firing someone but keep saying to yourself “It will get better”… if you have been on the fence for a month or more… you are wasting too much time and mental energy on a decision you have already made. You should be spending that time and energy on making sales and growing your company.

Fire the person. Make sure you do it with respect and compassion. Everyone in your organization will be better off for it.

[Ed. Note: It may be tough, it may be unpleasant. But you can’t grow your company if you allow the bad eggs to stick around. Once you get rid of your sub-par employees, you can concentrate on taking your business to the next level. Learn how to get expert advice about what you need to do to create a blockbuster business from the ground up right here.

Is firing hard for you? Have you ever kept on an employee longer than you should have? Let us know in our comments section here.]

Mary Ellen Tribby

MaryEllen Tribby is a business consultant and coach to entrepreneurs in the information publishing and digital marketing arena. She led Early to Rise from May 2006 to January 2010 as Publisher & CEO. She has also served as President of Weiss Research, managing divisions of Forbes, Globe Communications, Times Mirror Magazines and Crain’s New York Business. She currently heads up The CEO's Edge and WorkingMomsOnly.com.