Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Is It Time to Fire One of Your Core People?

Every industry in the world is plagued with one recurring and similar problem. They all have people that need to be fired.


Firing people happens every day in business. Call it “Laying them off, Firing them or Letting them go”, it’s all the same thing, one or more fewer employees.

‘Laying them off’ happens when your business needs to scale back for any number of reasons. ‘Letting them go’ usually occurs when someone simply can’t do their job. Doesn’t mean they are bad, it simply means they can’t produce the results you expect from them.

‘Firing them’ can also be for a myriad of reasons. They could have stolen something from your business, committed a crime, don’t show up for work or something else that is repeatedly against company policy.

But there is another group that should be fired that doesn’t fit into any of those groups.

They are usually found within the core of your business. Managers and Company officers that are content to keep your business just like it’s always been.

The modular housing industry is one of those industries that have owners that want to grow their business but every time they try talking about how to do it, there are some core people that have been with the company almost from the beginning that oppose it.


These are not bad people but they do have one thing in common. They want to keep your business just like it is and are afraid of change.

Most of the telltale signs of that group begins with the word “Why?”
  • “Why do we need to buy new equipment when what we have is OK?”
  • “Why do we need to start training programs, we never needed them before?”
  • “Why do you want us to get into anything beyond single family homes?”
  • “Why should we expand our delivery area?”
  • “Why do we need to learn about new technology. The old way has always worked”
  • “Why do we need to get more capital for expansion when we don’t know if it will work?”
  • “Why do we have to have a marketing department. My daughter really likes doing it.”

Why? Why? Why?

One of the toughest challenges anyone could ever face in business is deciding to terminate someone who has been with you for a long time, who shared your early vision for your company and has been a loyal friend.

There are two forces at work here. One is loyalty to your friend who does not share in your plans for your business and the other is to your personal vision of what you see for your company and is stymied by one person's negative attitude.

Nobody will ever know how much this person meant to the success of your business as much as you but you know it’s time for a parting of the ways when the “Why” am I keeping them on is starting to hinder your business’ future.

As we all know, the owner of the business is the one that must turn off the lights on the final day. It’s not the owner’s best friend or your oldest employee or anyone else. It’s you.

So the question becomes, “Why am I keeping them?”

Gary Fleisher is a housing veteran, editor/writer of Modular Home Builder blog and industry speaker/consultant. modcoach@gmail.com

1 comment:

Robert Canfield said...

This just happened in my company. It's not a modular factory but it is in the construction industry.

A woman has been with our company since it started and at one time was excited to see it grow. She has advanced in the company and now a trusted VP.

Over the past couple of years she has shown extreme resistance to any change proposed and has even tried to sabotage other people efforts to keep things from changing.

After numerous meetings with her about what she is doing and if she were willing to at least listen to new ideas, she told me she couldn't.

Two weeks ago she was fired and you are so right when you say it's a tough decision. Since then, new ideas are being discussed for the first time in years and I see everyone gaining confidence in what our future will bring.

Gary, you could have written this article with my company in mind.