Protect your corporate culture as a small leak can sink a great ship.
Take a long time to hire the most passionate, proactive and smart people that you can find. If you hire both lazy employees and smart employees, then the smart employees will eventually quit; it takes time to build a superb corporate culture.
Here are three reasons why:
1. Hire slowly so that you are confident that the candidate fits into your corporate culture.
Make sure that each of your employees that will work with the person you are considering hiring meets with them at least 3 times and in different settings (i.e., your office, then a coffee shop and then a restaurant).
It's important that you don't ask for references as this process is ridiculous. Who in the world would give references for people that will say bad stuff about them anyway? Rather, find your own references, which includes companies the candidate has worked at before or contacts that you have in common with the candidate in LinkedIn, etc.
2. Fire quickly, as a disgruntled employee can ruin a corporate culture.
If you let a disgruntled employee stick around for too long, then he or she will destroy your corporate culture; a small leak can sink a great ship.
The best way to let somebody go is to sit down with them and start by giving them a genuine compliment on their accomplishments. Then tell them that they are being let go in 2 sentences or less and the reason(s) why. Then pause to see what their reaction is. Less is more. You don't need to sound apologetic at all (harsh I know, but please read on).
3. There is a good chance that you are helping people in the long run that you fire quickly.
The first time you let someone go is always the hardest but it gets a lot easier (unfortunately). If necessary, have a security guard be present if the employee seems incredibly erratic, which is rare. Quite often you will be helping this person out in the long run as it will guide them to do something they are more passionate about.
There are so many amazing examples of executives that have failed or have been fired which forced them to realize their dreams by starting their own company. Frustration often leads to breakthroughs in careers. As odd as this sounds, firing people that work for you can be very helpful to them in the long run.
Here are some incredibly inspirational examples of people that were fired. Thank goodness they were fired or we wouldn't enjoy the benefits of their future business empire creations:
Tomas Edison was fired by Western Union.
Michael Bloomberg was fired which made him get his revenge by starting his financial empire Bloomberg. Without getting fired he wouldn't have ever become the Mayor of New York.
J.K. Rowling hated her job as an administrative assistant. She later found her passion, which was writing the Harry Potter books.
Walt Disney was fired by a publication he worked for.
Madonna was fired from Dunkin Donuts.
Robert Redford was fired from an oil company.
Lee Iacocca was fired from Ford. So he turned around and led Chrysler.
All of these amazing people lost their jobs because of a lack of passion. They then became incredibly successful later in life because they focused on their passion. In hindsight, they are all incredibly grateful that they got fired and many likely think that their lives would have turned out even better had they been fired faster.
If you find yourself in the difficult situation of having to let people go, consider telling them that you think they need to find out what they are most passionate about in life. Consider even discussing with them a few of the people mentioned in the list above.
Hire slowly by gauging whether or not the candidate is passionate about your company and can enhance the corporate culture. Then understand that once they lose that passion, you might be helping them by firing them quickly.