Do you have decay in your business?
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Do you have decay in your business?


Finn Kelly, CEO, Wealth EnhancersThere is something you need to consider before you even think about recruitment: how do you - and are you prepared to - get rid of someone?

Blogger: Finn Kelly, CEO, Wealth Enhancers

Finn Kelly, CEO, Wealth EnhancersThere is something you need to consider before you even think about recruitment: how do you - and are you prepared to - get rid of someone?

Blogger: Finn Kelly, CEO, Wealth Enhancers

Initially, I had planned to write an article about the importance of having a good recruitment process, however a recent first-hand experience at Wealth Enhancers reminded me that there is something else that you need to consider before you even think about recruiting someone. That is, how do you, and are you prepared to, get rid of someone?

This may sound a little strange. Why would you want to think about getting rid of someone when you are actually looking to hire and are probably very excited about making this move? Well, in my experience you will never hurt your business too much by hiring the wrong person, however it's keeping that wrong person around that can have truly detrimental effects.

The other important reason to have considered the idea of having to fire someone, is that it is generally quite hard for us to actually have that conversation as emotional factors tend to come into play, making the task confusing and difficult. It is a lot easier to establish a set of rules and processes before you make that hire, when your emotions aren't yet involved.

Now we have all heard the saying 'hire slowly, fire quickly'. In all honestly, I don't actually agree with this statement in its entirety. In my experience you will sometimes need to make a call to hire quickly, as a great opportunity to have an amazing asset join your team may just pop up and your only option might be to act quickly and ensure you don't miss out. I do however, agree wholeheartedly with firing non-performers pronto.

In no uncertain terms, a non-performing staff member will decay your business.

Consider discovering, at a regular dental check-up, a small area of decay in one of your molars. Your dentist might put a watch on it and alert you to the problem, and to try to improve the situation by encouraging you to change the way you are brushing/flossing your teeth. Despite trying to improve the situation, you are not able to stop the decay from making a hole which leads to pain. This causes you to go to the dentist again and he says that the best option is to have a filling. The last thing you want is to go through the discomfort of a filing so you go and get a second opinion, really just putting off the inevitable and hoping for the situation to improve on its own. In the meantime, the decay has started to effect the surrounding teeth. In the end you can no longer handle the pain so you face the uncomfortable and get the filling. All the while, you've wasted plenty of time trying to manage the situation, and other parts of your life have been effected due to pain and headaches. Everything would have been a lot easier had you just got rid of the decay in the first instance.

This process often occurs with under-performing staff. Something alerts you that one of your staff is not performing, you second guess yourself and of course want to try to give them the opportunity to improve by helping them in the areas that they need. Time passes and the situation doesn't get any better, so you start asking other people their thoughts on what you should do. More time passes and the staff member keeps on causing problems, by this stage your tolerance is decreasing and you start feeling angry about the situation which often results in other staff becoming effected rather than the staff member who is actually causing the problem. Eventually enough is enough and you get rid of the person (decay). During this time however, you have potentially lost clients, the culture and mood within the business may have become negative, you may have wasted both time and money on an investment not worth taking and your self-confidence will have decreased. The important lesson to learn from this is that if you identify that you have an under-performer in you team, you need to address the situation and in most cases get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Some tips:

  • Establish ways to quickly identify when someone is not going to perform - clear KPI's are generally the best way to do this;
  • Cut the emotion out of the equation - business is business;
  • Loyalty is important but you need to choose who is worth being loyal to - be more loyal to your high -performing staff;
  • Be upfront with your clients. Many of your clients will have experienced first-hand the effects of having underperforming staff. Explain to them what happened and they will generally understand;
  • Check your contracts - make sure you can terminate quickly and that you have strong restraints of trade included; and finally
  • Get rid of the cause at the first sign of decay or you will have rot in your business.

About Finn Kelly
Finn Kelly, CEO, Wealth Enhancers

Finn Kelly is the CEO and co-founder of Melbourne-based wealth management boutique Wealth Enhancers. He heads up the Portfolio Management arm of the business, and has developed unique client education and staff training programs.

In his former career, Finn spent seven years as an Army Officer in the Australian Defence Force - an experience he attributes much of his leadership ability and business acumen to.

His formal qualifications include a Bachelor of Science majoring in Maths and Physics, a Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning), a Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary), a Diploma of Government and a Diploma of Management.

In his personal life, Finn is a passionate Geelong supporter, an avid sportsman, keen skier and generally enjoys being outdoors.

Along with his life and business partner Sarah Riegelhuth, Finn will be representing Australia at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit in Russia in June. 

Do you have decay in your business?
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