Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

Hire Slow, Fire Quickly

There is an old concept in business that you should hire slow and fire quickly. This means that you should take your time when bringing someone into your organization. On the flip-side, if it is not working out, let the person go quickly.

Zappos.com is a perfect example of this. Their CEO, Tony Hsieh has created a list of core values to look for when someone is hired into Zappos.com. Zappos.com will hire you if you are in alignment with their core values – and they will fire you for lack of them.

Another old business saying is that we should hire for attitude and train for skill. That said, sometimes employees must possess certain skills that are required for the job. Regardless, a bad attitude or lack of alignment of the organization’s core values can impact your organization dramatically, both for your employees as well as your customers.

Poor performance…

– Affects the morale of others.

– Prevents or delays others in getting their work done.

– Reflects on the entire company, not just an individual.

– Can create a negative image.

– Can erode customer – and employee – confidence.

– Can impact (negatively) the bottom line.

For example, you may have 100 star employees and just one who is not. If on a particular day a customer calls and happens to get that one person who is less than acceptable, their impression of your entire company is negative. In other words, in a band, if one instrument is out of tune, it can make all of the instruments seem out of tune.

So, be quick to notice and recognize an employee’s poor performance or a lack of your core values and behaviors. You will then have to make a choice – to give the employee further training or to let the employee go. If they really do have the right attitude, then take the time to train the skill. Otherwise, the choice to let someone go, while not always easy, may be the best one for the company.

Shep Hyken is a professional speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling business author who works with companies who want to develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For information on Shep’s speaking programs, books, and learning programs please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: shep@hyken.com – Web: www.hyken.com – For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs (www.TheCustomerFocus.com).

 

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