The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
385: Firing People Too Slow Will Kill Your Startup
Feb 5, 2019
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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about holding on to people who aren’t working out too long.

One of the biggest mistakes founders make is holding on to a non-performing team member for too long. Doing so can be bad for the business, the team and for the non-performing team member as well. So it’s important to let people go if it’s not working out and do it at the right time.

In this episode, Steli and Hiten talk about why hanging on to a non-performing team member is a bad idea, when the right time is to let them go, consequences of hanging on to a non-performing team member and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:39 Why this topic was chosen.

02:36 What made Hiten tweet about this topic.

02:46 Why it’s bad to wait too long to let go of a team member.

03:04 How Hiten started the tweetstorm.

03:17 Consequences of hanging on to a non performing team member.

04:48 Why you should speak to team members about issues.

05:07 Why it’s bad for the non-performing team member.

06:34 About giving people second chances.

07:36 How to handle non-performing team members.

08:00 Why it’s important that the non-performing team members knows the situation.

3 Key Points:

Sometimes we keep hoping that someone who’s not working out is gonna work out
Your company sucks more for it.
If you’re basically talking shit about a team member and they’re not in the room, get them in the room.




Steli Efti: Hey, everybody. This is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah. Today on The Startup Chat, we're going to talk about a tweetstorm that I did, I guess, right?



Steli Efti: Yes, yes, a tweetstorm that I think every entrepreneur, every founder should read, every person that works in a startup. I retweeted it telling everybody to fucking read it, but I'm like, not everybody's following us on Twitter. This is such an important topic, I thought we needed to touch on this on the podcast. It's the topic of one of the biggest mistakes companies make are holding on to people that aren't working out too long, which means you have made the determination or you're seeing that this person isn't working out. They're not successful within the company. They're not performing the way that you expected them to. The moment you realize that, you're not taking action instantly. You do what I would say almost every founder and every person that has hiring and firing power does. You postpone that. You try to rationalize things. You kick the can down the road, think, "Well, maybe if we give this one more month, maybe if I help them with more training, maybe I change my management style, maybe with this new campaign, it's a fresh start and they can show themselves now." Your just keep postponing, trying to rationalize, trying to give people more and more chances. Then once you make the decision, there's all kinds of other reasons for not firing them. "Oh, it's the Christmas season. It's New Years. We have this big project. This would be bad news and would be bad for morale." There's all these reasons why to keep postponing that. I just ran through a shit ton of them really quickly. Now I want to pass on the ball to you, Hiten, which is why is it so bad to do this? Why giving people a bit more chances is bad. Why maybe waiting for the perfect time to part ways or fire somebody is that bad. Why is postponing letting go of somebody that isn't' working out, why is that such a bad thing? What triggered you to even tweet about this in a little tweetstorm?



Hiten Shah: I don't know. I think it's just one of the things that people keep doing over, and over, and over, and over again. They keep basically hoping that someone who's not working out is going to work o...

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