HireMyVA Podcast

HireMyVa Podcast 4 – If it doesn’t work out, there’s no way I could ever fire someone

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Dave Braun
Hello, everyone! Welcome to the HireMyVA team and business building podcast, where we help you reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving with virtual assistants without breaking the bank, without breaking your bank, which is the bank that’s most important. And folks, I’m Dave Braun. I’m here with my partner and best buddy, Larry Broughton. How are you doing?

Larry Broughton
Going good. How are you doing day two or whatever it is up there in the woods.

Dave Braun
Doing great. I’ve got one of my favorite shirts on when I put it on or reminds me in the morning. Let me get up a little bit. If you can see me, I don’t know if you’re watching this, but if you’re listening to this, I have a t-shirt and it says, can you read that Larry?

Larry Broughton
That’s a, I can’t read it say? it does What now.

Dave Braun
It says No Fear.

Larry Broughton
That’s a good, that’s a good one for today’s topic or conversation.

Dave Braun
I think so. So speaking of today’s topic, we’ve heard questions about, you know, people believe that if it doesn’t work out, you say or hire somebody and if it doesn’t work out, there’s no way I could ever fire someone. I can’t have that type of a conversation. It’s hard. How, how can I do that?

Larry Broughton
You throw it over to me.

Dave Braun
Yeah. What say you?

Larry Broughton
What’s say you? what’s that? Listen, It’s I know the feeling it’s like a pit in the gut. We’ve talked about this before, about, I think on one of our earlier podcasts that often times when you hire somebody, you know, within the first couple of weeks, whether it’s going to work out or not. I mean, there are typically warning signs along the way, and sometimes it’s just intuitive intuition, but the more you do it, you’re actually able to put words around why this isn’t working out. But because of our own fear, that day number 14 turns into day number 30 turns into day number 89 turns into three years, and you’re still kicking yourself. Like, why is this person still here? This is one of the great things about experience that comes along is that, Dave, I’ve learned over the years is that the more you communicate with someone, the easier it is to have the hard conversations with them. Throughout this course, we talked about having a vision for your organization, having a mission for the organization, developing core values for your organization.

Larry Broughton
All of those tools are used to measure performance against. So if someone is off course, and if you have, if one of your core values is honesty, integrity, and everything that we do, if someone has a lot is lying or cheating, it’s very easy to measure their lying and cheating against what your core values are. And it’s easy to say, Hey, you know, when you came on board with us before you even came on board, you understood that honesty, integrity are part of our core values. And right now this action today isn’t working. And so we do talk throughout the course about how to do this, how to have these hard conversations, one of the mantras and you know, Dave and throughout our organizations that I got from the military is do the hard right over the easy wrong. But I think there’s a lot of reasons why people have this belief that they can’t.

Larry Broughton
I think that was what the question was that we got. I could never fire someone. Well, really what I think that person had seen is I’ve never been trained or I’ve never known what are the warning signs. And no, I don’t know how to have those hard conversations. The great thing is, that’s why you and I are here. Why we have community. The great thing is, is why we have tools to help you identify what we call is position profiles, not just job descriptions, but position profiles, and how to do performance reviews. Because if you do those things, it’s basically like a report card. You know, teachers don’t like giving F’s and failing people either. But if they give a honest report card along the way of a child’s performance, it’s easier to have those tough conversations. So this is not a surprise. If you’ve heard me say this, plenty of times, we’ve known each other for how many over 19, maybe 20 years at this point

Dave Braun
Yeah, I knew you when I was like five years think. I old,

Larry Broughton
Exactly. Yes. It shouldn’t be a surprise when you have to let somebody go. There should’ve been plenty of discussion leading up to it. They should have been plenty of action steps taken before, I’m just gonna use this intentionally the, before the X falls, they should know that it’s coming. So, but what we do talk about through the program is that there are some things that it’s caused for immediate termination, even when dishonesty, disrespect to a client, those types of things should be kind of non-negotiables. But another one of the mantras that we have throughout all of our organizations is coach them up or coach them out. Once you decide I’m going to coach them up, that means I’m going to be committed to getting them on board, getting their skills up to speed, or you coach them out. But at some point you’ve got to have our, in our minds, Dave, that at what point do we change from coaching up to coaching out and oftentimes that situational, and this is why I love the community that we have is why I love the form, because sometimes we don’t know, because we’re so in the weeds with this, that we need some outside perspective. And so somebody come to the form and say, Hey, I’ve done this, this and this. And the person still was not getting it. What, what’s my next step?

Dave Braun
Yeah, Larry. I mean, that’s a great point. It’s all that, the stuff that happens beforehand, being able to properly evaluate somebody, right? To know that yes, definitely. Now is the time to fire sometimes what will happen, and this is what we have to be careful is that we won’t connect with the person, or we will oh just thinking now, I just don’t think he’s doing enough where we think, oh, I think I need to let them go. Whereas you don’t really have any evidence that says that you should. So, and so that’s the part that, like you mentioned, establishing the warning signs, being aware of those. Now I agree with you. Well, one of the things that you said is like, and that’s why we teach to make sure you establish your core values, violation of your core values is definitely cause for dismissal. It’s a big warning sign, but there’s, you know, there’s others that are a little bit more subtle.

Larry Broughton
Yeah. Well, listen, it’s not like I’m going to hire them then I got a fire them. There are steps in between. You know, the Gallup organization does their state of the American workforce survey every year. And they find that 67% of the American workforce is disengaged or actively disengaged. When you peel back the layers to this data, to the survey, what they find is that people aren’t working in their strengths. Oftentimes that might be one of the reasons why they’re underperforming, but they also find that team, we call them team members in our organizations, but employees really put a lot of the burden on the employer to professionally develop them. So it might be, that might be one of the reasons why they’re not performing no one’s ever invested in them. And so if you’ll look at it, if someone’s falling short on their performance, it might just be that we have fallen short on our training of them or identifying what our expectations are of them.

Larry Broughton
People can’t meet our expectations if they don’t know what they are. And so I’m a big believer as are you Dave, but we got to hold up a mirror, looking in the mirror to say, okay, why is this person not performing? Have I communicated effectively? Have I said, what my expectations are? There’s all kinds of things that might be a contributing factor to their underperformance or our expectations. So this does take it’s an entrepreneurship and being a boss, being a leader is a lot of times you have to stare at your navel a little bit, or look in the mirror. A lot of times it falls on our shoulders. But I think it’s a myth to say that I could never fire someone. That’s a myth. You can, if you know how to do it. And if you know how to communicate effectively, and you’re willing to take some responsibility in the learn along the way as well.

Dave Braun
Yeah. I mean, we have, in our course, we have a plan of exactly how to do that, how to prepare for it, for example, writing a script and sticking to the bullet points, keeping it short, those kinds of things. And I know one of the big issues that what can happen is if you do have to fire somebody, it’s not going to be a pleasant experience, It never is. If you do find it a pleasant experience, maybe that’s not a good sign about you.

Larry Broughton
Yeah. Yeah. Failing to view in the organization. You got to look at it that way, because if you do an AAR that you’ve heard me talk about before and after action review, if you have to terminate someone, you do have to ask yourself, get with us, get with other members of the community and say, Hey, I need to do an AAR. And that’s what did I do right? What did I do wrong? How can I improve the next time so that I don’t have a revolving door for people here. But Dave, one of the things I love about you is that you do have an engineered brand. You are very methodical and you do have some tips that you want to share. This kind of three-step approach. But I’m going to share this with folks. One thing that you can’t do, I would just beg you not to do this is I’ve seen this happen.

Larry Broughton
And I’ve heard it happened is you bring someone into your office or you get on a zoom call with your VA that’s in the Philippines and you gotta let them go. And it takes you 45 minutes to get to the phone. Don’t do that because they’re squirming, your squirming. You’re both sweating. If you have, if you’ve taken the steps that we’re going to share with you on how to do that, it should be a very short conversation. You pull the bandaid off first and then you talk about it and you come up with an exit strategy for them because sometimes it’s immediate and sometimes it’s a workout, you know, might take a couple of weeks, but I’ve terminated people. And oftentimes I’ve a witnessed there when I’ve had to terminate people and I’ve had the people that I’ve terminated because I know how to do it

Larry Broughton
and now give me a hug on the way out the door. Because I think the way we need to think about this David’s we are, if we do our job as a leader and we’ve coached them up again, unless it’s like, they’ve slugged a client or they’ve stolen from you, that’s a very short, very short one, right? Where there’s no tolerance in my book for that kind of stuff. But the way I get it in my head, I’m setting them free to find the right organization because this one is not just not the right one, but there is a right one for them out there somewhere. So I’m setting them free. I’m basically, I’m doing them a favor.

Dave Braun
Yeah. And we have to. Exactly. And we have to realize that that’s all, you’re doing them a favor and that’s okay. I mean, it’s okay. To part ways.

Larry Broughton
It’s scary for them too, for sure. But yes. I’m sorry, Dave.

Dave Braun
Yeah. It’s scary on both ways, you know. In fact, so you, you mentioned my engineering brain, which I got three things, right? So the three things you want to do is establish your warning signs. We talked about that. Violating your core values, but there’s other things as well, but you want establish your warning signs so that you recognize it. Hopefully it’s not as much of a feeling, but it needs to be like Larry talked about, you know, kind of documented, you’re writing it down. You’ve noticed some patterns along the way. So then, but once you’ve said, okay, person’s got to go, then there’s some preparation you have to do. You got to get their unique knowledge if they have any change passwords. And those are tactics. But strategically like, like we talked about, you got to remember that it’s not personal, it’s business.

Dave Braun
And then you’ve got to prepare mentally in saying that most of us have a severe case of conflict avoidance. Almost nobody likes conflict. And so you have to be aware of that going into it. And then of course, there’s the execution, not the chopping off the head. That’s not what I mean. That’s the execution and we talked about keeping it short. You may even want to give them the opportunity to resign. Severance, whatever. But here’s one of the mindset shifts that you could fall into. And this is what you can’t do. And I’ve learned, this is that you can’t say to yourself, oh my gosh, this just didn’t work out. It was too painful. I’m never going to get help again. I’m just going to do everything myself. That’s going to be a trap to re-enslave yourself and your business. You don’t want to do that. The person that’s right for you or the people that are to going to help you get to where you want to go, are out there, and you have to trust in yourself and the process and work with us.

Larry Broughton
The more you do it, the better you’re gonna get it at

Dave Braun
Oh yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. We want to give you a great jumpstart into doing that.

Larry Broughton
Well, and another thing Dave, is that we do have checklists on the better hire you make, the less likely it is that you’re gonna have to fire them. And so you have to do some pre-work on the front end as well. And we’ve got checklists and all that kind of stuff for you in the program.

Dave Braun
We got great questions to ask that elicit all kinds of good stuff. So it’s most definitely. All right. Anything else?

Larry Broughton
That’s it for me.

Dave Braun
Okay. Well I think that’s it for me too. So folks, if you want to reclaim your freedom, change your life, you gotta build the team. We’re here to help you go to hiremyva.com for more info on our course and community. Even without experience, you’ll learn how to prepare for, hire and thrive with, with virtual assistants. Boy, I can’t even say that today. Larry and I – see I can’t say that. Larry and I have coached a lot of folks. We’ve helped them overcome hurdles to be successful so we can help you too- No question about it. So just go to hiremyva.com for more information. We’ll see you guys next time.

Larry Broughton
Go get ’em!

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