The difficult subject of firing employees is the topic on this episode of The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten.  Both guys acknowledge that it isn’t easy to fire somebody.  Hiten compares a company to a living organism and as a body processes food and then rids itself, so too, at times a  company finds itself in the unpleasant circumstance of having to dump an employee.

Hiten says in his business no one person is responsible for hiring and firing.  He says if two of you are talking about a third person in the business and that third person is not in the room and the discussion is negative, then get that person in the room and talk to them so they have first hand experience and are aware of what’s going on.  Steli adds when you begin wondering about letting somebody go, that’s the time to let them go.

Steli and Hiten focus on the best way to fire somebody.  Hiten feels it’s important to do the right thing for everybody in your company and the other employees need to understand what’s going on so that they aren’t insecure.  Steli says the way you let somebody go lets everybody in the company know how they will be treated if they should leave.  If they are worried about their jobs it takes away from their productivity.  Hiten and Steli also discuss why it’s so uncomfortable to let somebody go and dealing with the feelings of everybody directly involved.

Today’s Tips:

Steli: When you know you need to let somebody go and you know you don’t want to – acknowledge that.  You don’t have to find a way to be brave, you just have to find a way to be honest about it.  You can display some humility and display that you’re vulnerable.  Tell the person that you are feeling bad. Hiten adds, display your humanity.

Hiten: Make sure the person you’re letting go knows why and the people who are still on the team know why as well and that’s all you can do.  Make sure people know why.

Steli adds that it’s not about you, it’s about them and the rest of the team.  He faced a very difficult situation where he had to let go a significant amount of his staff at one time.  To hear how Steli handled that, check out The Startup Chat Episode 11 Hard Times.

If you have questions, got feedback or want to discuss any of the topics further, there’s now a place to do just that: The Startup Chat Facebook group. Just go, join the group and say hi!  Look forward to seeing you in there.

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