Recently, my wife, who is also my business partner, came to the realization we were having one common problem at our office, our administrator. Nicole is an excellent clinician and is dedicated to her field like none other; however, this makes her a terrible business person because she is far too focused on helping someone. What this meant was keeping someone who clearly wasn’t fit for the job they took on and had gone far too long in that position; thus costing the company thousands in unprocessed and ill reported claims along with paying her a salary to which I have absolutely no idea what she did to earn it. Now, what makes this decision tough? Her child was a former patient and Nicole had grown close to the family. That isn’t all of it either, this woman had serious medical issues she needed to go into surgery for and would be out of commission for weeks on end and couldn’t be at the office to perform the duties of her job.
So, the prime time to have let her go had been passed because Nicole only saw that our office administrator was taking a “load” off her, that being answering phones and scheduling, which can be time consuming but shouldn’t take all of her 4 hours to perform each day. So, with the best time to have let her go already long gone I was faced with having to advise her that she wouldn’t have to work from home while recovering, because her value add to the business was absolutely zero and I would have paid her money to do absolutely nothing. So, she was told to focus on her recovery and to visit the office when she was fit enough to do so; however, it was advised she would likely just be paid her last paycheck but we were unsure if we would be in need of her services after that.
Here is something we all should learn from this scenario, learn to let people go, it could be the best thing for everyone involved. I watched this office administrator sink into a hole she could no longer crawl out of; however, someone else couldn’t see who was holding the shovel and had assumed this person was of some value, only until Nicole saw how far behind we actually were, which was costing us thousands of dollars per month. If you own a business or sit on a board where you have the responsibility of hiring and terminating people, never be afraid to cut someone loose if they’re failing at their job, it serves no good if the person isn’t able to come up to speed in a reasonable time to help support the business, you’ll only hurt yourself and those who also believe in your small business. Learn to let people go before they end up a bigger disappointment, one you’ll regret. Instead, learn from the mistake so it becomes a lesson you can use later on when deciding who to hire and when to terminate someone. Once again, terminating someone is stressful for both parties involved, but sometimes you have to learn to let that person go so they can realign themselves with a different organization, perhaps in a different role, to achieve success because they’re obviously never going to achieve it here.