ITDUG 2020.08 – Coaching First: The Definitive List of What you Owe an Employee Before Deciding to Let Them Go

Date Updated: Sep 4, 2020 | Date Created: Jul 22, 2020 | ITDUG | 0 comments

Author: Faith Johnson

No one likes to have to discipline someone, but boundaries must be set to ensure the best teamwork. Allen Edwards, founder of Eureka Process, LLC and the Eureka Community, presents “Coaching
First: The Definitive List of What you Owe an Employee Before Deciding to Let Them Go.” This system of coaching is designed to help everyone be successful and offers “threats” and “reprimands” as a last resort, preferring progressive coaching instead.

We also cover the importance of core values and processes when it comes to creating successful long term careers within your organization.

For Eureka Community members, this webinar is focused around HR09 – Coaching System.

Join the Community today to gain access to this process and many more with a 7-day Free Trial.

Video Transcript

Allen Edwards 0:28

I’ll go ahead and start the party just with a quick intro to make sure in the right place this is coaching first a definitive list of what you owe an employee before deciding to let them go. We’re doing this for the it documentations users group, it goes we’ll share more about in a moment. And I’m with Eureka process and I’ll also choose myself for a second. So, this is the right place, many of the folks in here with video backgrounds are related to Eureka process and or it Doug, so they’re going to help co host the meeting. Do you have questions during the meeting. It’s pretty small group so feel free to just unmute yourself and ask, or send it in a chat. If you would put it in a group chat or through the post in general versus just made so that I can keep focusing on the presentation and they will help out. And there’s Henry’s questions. And then we’ll close off. I’ll go into. First off as a quick introduction, or it. We are a Facebook user group, our URL is on the screen or you can always tag us at any time, or you can find this anytime in Facebook like doing it d g, it is for all users of any IP documentation platform. We’re here to help each other learn and grow. And our team as you read the process is also there trying to help out with anything that we might have a process for or some experience with all of our clients to help share. I’m going to introduce Tracy who founded our group A few years ago to let her go through the basics in the history and and how we can help each other.

Tracy Hardin 3:14
Hi. Thanks, Ellen. Welcome everybody. My name is Tracy harden. I own next century technologies and MSP, located in Lexington, Kentucky, founded the company nearly 20 years ago,

basically didn’t break fix work at the time and I have since migrated to managed services, probably like many of you have.

I founded it Doug after I bought an IT glue

subscription, and I really loved it glue and I started the documentation back then no idea what I was doing. So turn around, trying to find some resources to help me, and there weren’t any even glue didn’t have any kind of group, or any kind of platform to help for people to help each other. So when on Facebook, and it was originally a group for it glue users, but that quickly changed when we realized that no matter what platform you’re using documentations just a challenge. So, I create the group, because I had no idea what I was doing. And along the way, I met Edwards, and he loves documentation. So that was a shock and he was very knowledgeable so I invited him to collaborate with me so we can bring more resources to the group especially these type of materials we have webinars and discussions. So I have learned a lot on the way still by no means any kind of expert, but these kinds of webinars have really helped me a lot, and I can honestly say that my company can run without me. And that’s the goal, you have enough documentation for your employees to follow so you can go on vacation and you can take an extended sickly things happen. And it run without you, and eventually you’ll be able to sell your company or pass it on to your successor, and watch them continue with the success as

Brook Lee 5:00
well. Thanks Allen

Allen Edwards 5:03
Thank you for inviting me in to help in creating zoom in the first place. I think when I first met you you were at about 200 users, which was a big milestone, going from zero. Yeah. And we had a couple of plateaus here and there but as soon as we hit 500, it started moving on its own. We hit 1000 and people just keep joining. I know that Faith and Veronica are helping us improve and screen members. It’s dozens a day sometimes.

Tracy Hardin 5:30
Yeah, I think COVID a lot of people are focusing on things I can do during COVID from home. I saw a lot of people, we got a lot of interest in group during the first few months of the year when COVID really are.

Allen Edwards 5:42
And I think we’re just about at 2400 members already this month, and keep inviting the more people we have, the more brain trust we could use to help solve challenges we’re having come up with ideas. We’ve been known to go to various vendors platforms and upvote feature requests together. So we can get some attention and get our needs met. So a little bit about me. I’m a little bit self conscious. So, I’ve also been told that, hey, we need to know who you are so that we know why to believe anything you say or at least where you’re coming from, so I try to get through this as awkward as it is. I’ve been at it since 1994. I’m not that old I just started young, as I like to say, I did also own an MSP from 2002, I sold it in 2011. I went on to double the business that bought mine in the year. And then I went right after that to another competitor MSP and we did the same thing in four years for a larger company. I’m an EOS implementer and I found the director process in 2017, as well as a co admin of it died, which is kind of like my leisure activity. A little bit about Eureka process. Adam Veronica, Brooke and faith in the call all work in our teams, and we’re delivering these types of services, day in and day out anywhere from process consulting to leadership coaching tools administration including it glue pass portal. I consider p essays, cset reporting, all those are a form of documentation in my book. And we do have our membership website, you read your process, calm. It’s a community of people like you looking for documentation help or processes that are pre document for you. Lots of templates and webinars there as well. And our virtual teams. For example, Brooke leads most of our service management dispatch roles Veronica’s doing our chief marketing officers for msps like you. Alright so I’m curious, I’m going to try a live poll here. Everybody participate even our co hosts I’m curious. I’m curious how you do the coaching process now what do you what do you do before you fire somebody. So if you’re open up a web browser go to swift public comm enter that code, 11 797, and answer the question on the screen. I’ll wait just a moment for you to fill in. And let’s see what you guys are doing now. While this happens I’m going to change my screen a little bit. There’s a magic button I can try to show us the answers. Instructions. That’s nice.

All right, here’s some responses coming in. It’s like a horse race. Nobody just bottles up your feelings gets mad and viruses fire somebody. No, this is an anonymous poll right, you can say that. Alright, so here’s what we have probably have four to eight responses here. Oh it’s changing again. I surprised the number of people have a formal policy for what it takes to get fired. That’s great. I hope we can give you some new ideas, or maybe validate what you’re doing now today. Another common one I warned them and correct them until I’ve had enough. This is not necessarily bad it’s just really hard to justify when you’re on the fence about what to do if there’s this some magic line that suddenly you’ve crossed it, but it is at least great that you’re correcting them along the way, which helps establish a pattern of what needs to be fixed. And I do have a specific slide to address the I keep bad team members until I hired a replacement. We do definitely hear that a lot talking to clients. There are some challenges and doing it that way. and we’ll say that toward the end there. So first off, I wanted to share a little bit that we’re not all perfect. I have some old stories on my own. I used to create a policy. One of the first policies I created I was so proud of because I was so frustrated with technicians doing the wrong things. I called it 10 ways not to get fired. And then Brooke reminded me that naming is everything we have to make it positive. So over time I changed it to the 10 commandments. That was an improvement. I work I still think it’s an improvement. But it’s still not very positive because command is not necessarily seen as a positive in your direct reports. So finally, she came up with the idea of, let’s call it 10 ways to succeed. Names matter. Likewise, this process that we’re talking about today revolving involving the very uncomfortable topic of firing somebody or potentially firing somebody was originally called the discipline process. And I didn’t like the word but it’s what it was what I left it that way for quite some time. And then I reminded myself about the slide that we’ve got to do better. So we came up with the coaching system. And that’s been a lot better and I’m going to actually ask your help on a name coming up soon in our coaching system. So we’re gonna review the coaching system today. That’s what we’re here for. We got to start at the roots. The roots of the issue is core values. And I don’t think many people when they see this presentation are expecting that to be the first thing we say when it comes to disciplining somebody or coaching them. The fact of the matter is your core values are the ultimate process. If you don’t have a process. If you don’t have any processes, you should still have core values because those three to five things core your company are the things you cannot violate or you don’t belong at the company. Therefore core values establishes what you hire on, what’s your firewall. In fact, if it if I have a written process and somebody doesn’t doesn’t follow, for some reason, but I look back at y, and the y matches a core value throughout the hook that they did the right thing. For those of you who have core values, or are looking to develop core values which I would love to give a presentation on that at some point. Keep in mind that are your core values actually true or not, I wish we were like this, but we are actually like this. Don’t look at somebody else’s core values and go yeah I want that. If you want it, you probably don’t have it. If you are it, you want to make sure everybody else has it as well. I thought about going into much more examples of core values, because I love how much that brings to the company, but this is not the topic for that.

But you have to have core values and that was, I feel before you can truly have a process for coaching and training people up trying to prevent them from ultimately exiting your company, whether by force, or voluntarily as I alluded to, outside of core values you also have written process. If you tell somebody to do something. And since associated with a solid business and then we have this great idea. Three weeks later we tell them to do something else. and then two weeks later we tell them to do the first one a little bit differently, but don’t forget the second one. Next thing you know you have 30 things you’re supposed to do. And you come at them you’re mad at them so they didn’t do it the way we discussed last. Well, did you remember what we discussed last. Maybe you’re wrong. Maybe they don’t or which I did because I see so many things have changed that are interlocking. Therefore, when you make a decision. This is my definition of documentation it’s recording the decisions you make. That’s documentation that’s a written process. We’re going to do this let’s write it down. Anytime you develop a process you discuss, get it close, write it down with your team test it and beat it up, edited and now you say this is now the gospel, we’re going to follow this way. And lastly we have the meat of today’s presentation which is coaching. How do we go. So you’re going to help me here. Right here in the title I said, Let’s keep it positive I’m going to ask you to type something in the chat or unmute yourself or ask to be unmuted. I do this kind of like a six strike system or a first, second, third, etc offense. Is there a better word for that. I wanted to use the hive mind book Brian Tracy Adam faith. Get Zuber Steve, we can all ask pitch in. Is there a better word for this the first time you don’t follow the process or Miley to coordinate,

Brook Lee 14:47
maybe use the word incident. For the incident like you’re guilty.

All right. That’s my. When I see offense that means you’re guilty of something

wrong doing, and it may be a very, maybe a really good reason that happened maybe incident

Allen Edwards 15:04
issue incident better incident. I like it. We’ll go back to the recording and pull it out and update our process. I’ll charge you for that Tracy. Alright, so the first incident is simply a reminder. Keep in mind, you cannot remind them about something that they haven’t been told, trained and reviewed in writing. This goes back to you have to have your process in writing, it’s not an incident. Or maybe it’s an incident, but during your mind, they’re like yeah I didn’t know he would did it that way. But why did he know what did you look at the documentation what document is so I sometimes treat a first offense if I realized that the documentation for non existent. we spend a session together, getting a document. Do I have

Tracy Hardin 15:57
a minute, cuz this happened to me recently I so I had an employee of a new hire. And when he left the office, he fell off the door. He left my office completely unlocked for our. I mean you have to document,

lock the door really doesn’t have to get that you

I mean you could go, I can, I don’t want to have a

Bible for my employee handbook. Where do you saw

Allen Edwards 16:24
a excellent large question. A one chord values can help with this, perhaps or something in there that talks about thinking about the bigger picture or the results. Incidents do happen, Tracy I bet there’s probably been a time in life where you have also forgotten to lock a door.

Tracy Hardin 16:44
Well, the problem with this employee

is that he blamed me

because he was in the office more motivated to lock that door and set the alarm, the more humming all my stuff.

That was it, he mentioned that to another point but see this gets him into something else that this employee

Allen Edwards 17:05
was discussing discussing the core values, there’s something there that he’s not valuing you are, however to take some technical approach to your question. I would create this checklist. Every company has a different set of quirks, for example, One company I worked for had a coffee addiction in that office, and there were several coffee pots you had to turn off in a certain way. And while I’m making this checklist to remember that this one goes this way this one goes this way. And I have to lock the storage closet because my other company didn’t have a storage closet, might as well put lock the front door in there as a reminder. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to put that in the employee handbook. There is a process for it when somebody is assigned to leave will show it to them you’ll know where it’s at. My belief is if it’s there. They don’t have to memorize it if it’s common sense enough they will. They just have to know exist. To hold themselves accountable to it.

Brook Lee 18:06
All right, at one a couple of places it’s first person in and last personnel. So it’s basically just sort of, it seems, whatever but it makes sure the first person in has a list of things they need to do in the last person out as a list of things they need to figure out,

well with what phone calls were coming and going all the time. That’s the problem. It’s not like it used to be.

Allen Edwards 18:27
Right, so you have a whole new thing you have to teach people about, and the rule of thumb is you have to tell somebody seven times before the expiry the first time. And I also find these different types of learners. Some do great audio auditory telling them. I’m do great face to face or video to video. Some needed writing. So I try to cover on the basis, which is also why I give them chances to screw up now mind you, not walking off this could be a big one. And I’ll even tell you in here that we’re allowed to skip steps in this process depending on the egregiousness of the issue. But as you mentioned in your specific case you probably had a core values issue

Brook Lee 19:13
a core values issue but what not locking the door I was fine with blaming me, who left him. And I knew I’d set the alarm, I actually remember going back in and purpose isn’t a normal day I want to have something on another day, because it just needs to be it’s a habit, you got to get in the habit. but

Allen Edwards 19:30
yeah it was a core values problem. Alright so, problem solved, he solved the problem. Correct.

Brook Lee 19:36
Like, I’m getting back your document and how far do you document what direction you know

how much common sense but, you know, I guess

I need a document.

For the last person there do XYZ if you’re the first person to arrive do X, Y, Z,

Allen Edwards 19:50
and there is a fine line I have no specific answers. Common sense is far less common than you think it is. I mean, you’re the crazy woman who went out and started a business to pay other people instead of yourself first. Yeah. So, should there be a first incident. And reminder. So you can remind them. And again, you can’t remind them of what’s not already written they’re already trained so you may have to fess up first. You simply remind them hey we have this policy. this is why it’s important. And I usually make a note of it. This is not. I don’t like to make too much horribleness out of this it was just a reminder things happen right you change the policy. You want you to start putting in time like this or take it in August before you begin. Hey, we talked about this yesterday. Don’t forget to get some progress. Oh, sorry. I keep an employee fine everybody I tend to make a note that I say no reminded so and so about real time ticketing or ticket bonus. It really isn’t a big deal. If your team is small enough maybe you don’t have to write this part down even though recommended. Just keep in mind that you can’t remind them 1800 bucks.

So when you get down to the second incident. This is where I go Okay, we had already done the training right. I’ve already remind you to do something didn’t stick. It takes seven times remember something, have a meeting, let’s train, this is not in any way designed to be punitive. This is simply we fail to explain something well enough. So let’s try this again maybe take a different approach. Easy peasy right.

Keep moving the third incident. Third time it happens. Right now we’re getting into a verbal warning. All aside, do it in person, just let them know that, hey, we decided on this process for a reason. We told everybody about it, we train everybody about it, we tested it reminded you. We had one on one training with you again. And it’s still not happening. So, this cannot continue, please do it a text, obviously, maybe I should even add this to our processes, add to the processes, if they had a legitimate. I don’t need to use excuse, a legitimate issue with a process. Hopefully you’ve gotten some peer review from your process before you implemented it. But if they say hey I do this, this and this, and it’s taking 18 times longer than it used to. Well, they may have a valid point so my well my answer is always great. Keep following the process. Let’s also go fix it like now find a way if you can do it the small and if you can fix it during that meeting. Great. You have to bring it to your leadership team or your service manager to get the process change, always be looking to listen and find ways to do the process. And if you are listening I think they can also appreciate that. They need to do it the hard way, while you figure things out. Sometimes, it really is in the presentation. I like to show people, why it’s beneficial to the company to do it that way, or oh I see your point. However, I can’t prove this point to upper management if you don’t follow it first. It’s a big one that I’ve had where there’s a process that seems a little bit stupid. And I don’t want to go back and say this process is stupid. I said let’s do it for a week. Let’s show them the results and why it’s stupid, and then we might have a chance to change. Everybody still with me.

There’s a good comment here from Steve. Oh, can’t. That’s hilarious. Can’t have solved your problem tracing automated locks.

Brook Lee 24:09
Again, and I do have that set up.

The problem is work from home, we’re coming down all throughout the day.

Allen Edwards 24:15
More automation.

Brook Lee 24:16
I know I could set the alarm every hour that would drive people crazy.

Allen Edwards 24:25
And Steve says if you find yourself, telling multiple people the same thing. Write it down. Absolutely. In fact, if it’s multiple people Steve, you might want to revisit your training stuff before any more incidents happen. Perhaps there’s a training issue to begin with, or they don’t understand the why something. There’s so much I have about how to get processes implemented is changes hard for people. I’ve caused change burnout before, I’ve called dictator syndrome before. This is why I’m so smart like six I’ve made a lot of mistakes. All right, moving forward. Fourth, incident. The written warning. How do you write it in Veronica maybe we should make a note to add the our template for this onto our website, it doesn’t exist yet. But there should be a letter if you agree brief to the point, don’t give too much, it’s signed, not only by the manager, but by the president owner, those are two different people, stating what the offense was documenting the first, second, third, and fourth incident in that letter for the first time, dates, and what the violation is before I read the last sentence. You’re showing a pattern in writing, including the timing. And you need to tie all those incidents back to, preferably core values. If not, process, written process. I mentioned that document 10 ways to succeed. The reason that document came about, and perhaps second words if we have time I can share the website, with you guys. Is there was core values for three to five very big important core things. But then I created the 10 ways to succeed because there were 10 different things that we wanted everybody to do that was a bit more technical, but every single one of them, tied back to a core value so that document ties things together, things like how you communicate being on time in meetings, reading your ticket all the way through. Always reporting bad news as quickly as possible. Those types of things will be tied by the Kobe’s so that was a process that if you didn’t follow it was probably a core values violation as well. And then at the end of that letter you should also begin what’s next. You just start seeing the future here and how bleak, it can be. And we’re going to we’re going to discuss what’s next. So you can include that in your letter. On the next slide.

All right, so you tell him this is what’s next probation was probation mean when you put them on probation, you give them another letter. I can give a four. But that letter is also delivered with a meeting that includes everybody who’s involved in this decision so if you’re a middle management service manager finance manager, whatever the case may be, you call the owner, the president into the meeting as well. And like, hey, team member. We hired you because we like you. We have this issue and it’s getting pretty dang serious. We’ve already talked to you about this in person, we’ve done training, we put it in writing for you to show you how serious it is. But we’re at the last straw probation to me is simply a period of time. You have to, they have to show you that they can do it. I don’t mistakes are okay. But you’ve made mistakes. Six, seven times at this point. So we need a treat of, for example, 90 days resource you can do so after 90 days, we can start allowing a mistake to happen again. And you have to let them know that termination, is the next step for this offense. And typically what I do is if they successfully complete probation 90 days of perfection in that area of the area of their incident, meaning if they had a. I had trouble getting putting tickets in progress reported again them. And they perfected that really made a mistake in submitting timesheets on time. I mean, you’re tracking those two things very separately. So if they successfully complete their probation. I let them know that we’ll reset this thing back to zero, we’re going to wash it clean, and you’re good to go. I don’t want employees being on pins and needles afraid to make mistakes. I actually prefer my teammates to make some mistakes, especially if the kind of people who look at us like Oh, crap. That was a mistake, let me do better. That’s just training.

I keep glancing at chat. So, I don’t see any some of the keep going, sixth and final is the hardware termination is not good. But sometimes it is necessary and we’re going to have Brooks up in just a slider to help us with this because he’s helped many of our clients, deal with this unfortunate issue. And so, but because you’ve had this voting system, you should be much more resolute in that this is the right solution at this time. It’s that easy. It has to be done. But I do hear this question a lot, or the statement a lot. I’ve been guilty of saying this before. I can’t afford to lose this person right now. So I’d like to share some stories and I’m hoping you can help me share some of those stories. I remember we had one incident. When I was a service manager, many moons ago where there was a couple of folks that everybody can use like these people are hurting us they’re demoralizing. And I would go to my owner and say, Hey, can we can we fix this. And the answer was no for two years. I started this coaching system and we we still we get to the final step. Nope. Okay. Do we really need them. We need a hard replacement first and an amazing thing happened. We push the system we finally had the authority to fire. I was going to start the system all over again I get one of them got to the end of the rope. And they quit, which is even better for us. And then everybody came to us and said, Thank you. I will work overtime for you until this gets until we hire a replacement. Everybody was happier everybody got more work done. The overtime didn’t have to last for too long, things are better we thought we could not afford to live without them as looking I’ve seen over the last few years, every time we’ve gotten to the step mean we’ve tried everything first I do not believe in firing people willy nilly by any means, but if we take all the necessary steps, and they are still not a positive contribution to the team at all times. Getting rid of them never hurts. It’s always better even though you’re losing this man hours, because you want to share some more war stories or why you even had as many more stories.

Brook Lee 32:11
Um, we do have a lot because firing is probably one of the worst things you can do, you’re affecting someone’s livelihood, their ability to be able to provide for a family, so I mean it’s not a decision that that I take lightly, when I go consult with clients I end up being the person that has to do it. I’m not saying that it makes it any better, but I’m always confident in the decision that I have to make because I know that I followed the process. I got the six steps I followed everything I’ve done everything humanly possible for this person to try to keep an employee here, but at the end of the day, this person is not a good fit. They’re not helping the team, they’re writing the rest of the team down whatever it may be. And although this is the worst part of my job, it needs to be done and it’s for the good of the company and the good of the team. The place where Alan and I work together with you as a service manager and the two employees in question we’re about to freeze. So that was a huge bullet that Alan decided to take for us because that was a big deal to have to tear freeze both, you know they were both in the same situation where they were just. They had poisoned the well whatever you want to call it, it made it a very very difficult place to work. But once they were going, it was just like, there was a huge weight lifted, I mean it made work, coming, coming to work on again. People were happy that those people were no longer there. It made the day I mean it’s just we wanted to come to work. There are some other places that I’ve worked at where you sort of go through this process and you’ll have people reach out to you other employees. Oh my gosh, this person is still here football, and obviously it’s a personnel issue but when people get in a boat, they appreciate the fact that you have a process. And I’m not just going to fire you at the drop of the dark, this is not how this works, this is, this is what we’re doing. I explain it to you. I in general, I have some obviously different clients we try to perfect paperwork based on that client’s needs. I don’t use the word events, I don’t use the word incidents. I say it’s a coaching opportunity. And so that’s how I presented just because that’s my style as a manager I try to be super positive, even on the day that I’m firing you, I try to be as positive as possible I tell them, I appreciate everything that you’ve done for us, that you know XYZ. We’re just this is not a good fit. If I can, I always offer to be a point of reference. So, even though I had to fire somebody I still try to end it on a positive note on all of the things leading up to that point if we get to that point, um, again, try to have those be as positive as humanly possible. And try to put a human aspect to it because you know what I’m asking you to do, and I. This is a selling point for me as I tell him, 99% of the time, I’ve been where you’re at, I’ve had to make that change, I was with Alan when he was a manager and he was a dictator, and he was just laying down rule after rule and process after process I mean we were just piling in this stuff. And part of what he was doing was perfecting where we are now, it’s trial and error. So when we go to people I can say you know we already tried all these things so that’s changed where I’m asking you to make, and if you’re struggling with. I’ve been in that boat with you I know that it’s hard for you to do this, but this is how we’re going to do it this is the process. This is where we’re going to work on and then you try to go from there. Honestly, are fired are different people at various different clients, no one that I fired has been surprised. I have never had anybody just literally was shocked on their face and, oh my gosh, she’s firing me today. Everybody was just kind of like you know I knew this was common you know I’m sorry, how to get to this. They’re apologetic apologetic, I don’t like firing people, but I’ve met not want to I had anybody be surprised when I had to let them go. But like I said, having that process and having the documentation to me is key to everything because again at the end of the day I don’t want to do it, but then I’m confident in the decision that I have to make I can back up that decision. I’ve gotten to the point at some other places where I don’t have to go to the owner or anybody else because we have this process and it’s documented we’ve shown time after time how this works. So then we just do it and let people know that this is what we’re going to do we make it happen. But like I said, having that documentation, especially when it’s something like this is just crucial.

Allen Edwards 36:25
And when you are trying to wrestle. We frequently deal with having to wrestle power away from the owner, just because they need to delegate in order to get more stuff done.

Having this process in place, knowing that it’s being followed especially because they get involved in a second to last step, helps the process move forward. I think a lot of times the reason Brooke and I get put into position to help people get fired people. We’re outside consultants and coaches right? So they’re calling us because they have a problem. And many times, we’re looking at processes within the documentation. And what we find out in almost every case is there is an unresolved people issue there. There’s somebody we’re processing around or working around. And it’s amazing, all of that crap rolls up hill floating. It’s you have to take care of people as you know it simply happens so you have 10 employees. If one of them is a bad apple and the three of them you don’t like, for some reason, when you fire the bad apple the other two are completely saveable once that influence is gone and once they see that you will hire and fire based on core values, and following your processes. You will actually see your company [improve]. Gardeners have been doing this for centuries right you prune the bad branches, so that the overall plant can get healthier and grow even faster in the next season.

Do we have anymore cool stories?

Adam Edwards 37:57
I can chime in on one of the somebody he spoke to, he said, I can’t afford to lose this person.

And that is definitely you do hear a lot, but in most cases, bad person might be hurting a company in other ways. They might have blamed time entries which leads to late billing and then your clients are getting bills that are incomplete or those four months ago. You know, they could be not following your processes so they’re hurting your documentation and and the support of your clients, or they could just be a toxic member of the team and they’re not contributing or they’re hurting other team members in some way or another. So they are costing you, and it’s better to do that right away and like Alan was saying recruiting as part of gardening, so.

Brook Lee 38:48
Oh, we should have it set channel Shit Allen says pruning is part of gardening.

I like it. But for you,

maybe more towards Brooke. When you let people go do you are them are you giving them an opportunity to resign.

I do not know at that point.

Allen Edwards 39:13
It is amazing how many people read it when you follow the system religiously. Many people do resign first, before they even get to that last step.

Brook Lee 39:23
Well I guess I’ve had the pop. I’ve had to my last few far and they

want to kind of sort of expected it one day and they were both within the first four weeks

of what we call a probation period.

So I don’t take when I see that things are really out of alignment, like with the last farm that we were I was overpaying so I was overpaying this person he sent us a level to answer

the questions right he was actually level

one, gambling everywhere.

I can’t recover from that I can’t give them a pay cut.

I can’t downgrade them, you can’t because that destroys your self esteem. There’s another example. And I

had to just let go,

now I gave him an opportunity to resign. But either way, he was going to go out the door, I had a letter prepared I said you can resign, and that will be the final word.

But you know, more done. And if your fart isn’t firing people doing their intro probation period, you’re hiring wrong this is not really a coaching system issue as much.

He passed all of our process. And you know what our process is because we got most of it for me. So, he was a really good talker. He was, again, that’s the next the core values, he was not being honest with us. Right, that’s what we found out there was a lot of dishonesty there so I can’t, I can’t take somebody from level two to level one. Anytime I tried to downgrade somebody that’s always disaster they can’t. That’s too much of a shock or something. So I had no choice and I told him I said you are not a level two person, and he did not argue that there was no word against it and he said no so you can sign this resignation letter, if you like, and your mouth needed, develop, and that was it.

It was kind of hire slow fire quick. That’s what

I was following that motto because I knew,

please say I have never not going to say never, but I cannot remember any time that I fired somebody, because they were not in this field but I thought they were I really I cannot remember, Alan, can you, I cannot remember ever firing somebody because they we hired him in his tea or whatever and it turned out not to be I mean I can’t remember anything. Um, but we have a really extensive hiring process that I guess

Allen Edwards 41:44
I could say that it’s happened before, including our New York coin I think had somebody last year, where they tried the whole downgrade thing that did not work out cuz it never does.

Brook Lee 41:54
It never does. I like that.

Allen Edwards 42:00
Sadly, that’s the exact reason that I have an almost zero percent success rate hiring tier three engineers, because no owner is willing to take the risk at that salary that the wrong, technical skills. So what ends up happening is they get really good at hiring tier ones and tier twos to create internal training programs. And then they can start pumping out two threes every couple of years in new and can matriculate up and hire new challenger to another common strategy I have is I always try to meet people’s living standards when I don’t want you unhappy to work here. But if there’s a slight question on skill. I will hire at a lower salary, but I will build in a salary increase into their offer letter that says, hey, we have these concerns. I am willing to do this. And if you’re still here in six months. This means we like what you’re doing. This will be your new, new rates. That won’t work if you know what they need to live on is that maximum level. Don’t even try.

Brook Lee 43:02
What are you using for hire. They already have.

We have another one that uses one and there’s various questions of it’s the applicant answers they’re all technical questions, we have some for a low level, lower level tier and a higher level tier. And you can see if they copied it. See how long it took them to answer the question, why is that, I’ll have to look it up I can shoot your message after I’m not sure what to say, no, maybe it’s not that I can look it up and I’ll send it to you but basically the questions. It shows you that the person copied and pasted, and it also shows you how long they took the answer a question so that helps us weed out a lot of people that were very simple questions. You were either googling and then trying to type it in or you were asking somebody else and then you know I’m saying it was just the, the short questions weren’t short, and the long questions that should have taken, even a tear free I mean a good 510 minutes to answer it. If you’re cranking it out in like two minutes, then, to me that’s a red flag so that’s a different testing platform then my other clients use, but I liked it, it’s extensive, it takes about an hour and a half to do the questionnaire, but it weeds out a lot of people probably that are trying to sell you that, you know, bill of goods that they’re a tier two and they’re really not. Yeah. I’ll find the instructor message on what you know.

Allen Edwards 44:28
Outstanding. Do we have any other questions or conversations or stories to share. Glad to help on specific cases as well. Glad to take live criticism to my shabby PowerPoint presentation skills, like the word Ben being missing from a slide.

Brook Lee 44:48
Last one. Yeah. Does anybody here have any questions, if you know was always typing in the chat window.

Adam Edwards 44:58
Appropriate mention, having like a finder for documentation in terms of presenting, either to, to the end user as an end user. The person that you’re hiring or to anybody else that inquires what process you followed in early on in the steps it was saying that you’re noting that an incident has occurred how much of that actually makes it into the binder if you don’t get further up the steps. So, for

Brook Lee 45:31
every reminder that I had. It’s just a folder that actually put each employee’s name on it. On the first steps that are not really documented but that I put the date and time on I usually fill out that same form, and I put on there, this was, you know, step one and then I put the date and time and you know talk to employee x, you know, and then I’ll put. I do put notes in it for those for myself, to help me remember like if the person was. If they received the criticism really well. Again, these are personal things so you’re not things that I share with other people, but it’s because some of the people have I mean, some places I’ve got like 15 to 17 times a lot of people to remember and not saying all those people get written up all the time, but if I have to go back and remember something from a person. I like having my notes in there that said you know I talked to him you know he was very apologetic seemed sincere genuine whatever so I try to write personal notes to myself to remember how the person, received because, again, to me that’s not as important, but it’s very important to me, how the person received what I told them they didn’t I try to be super positive, when I deliver the information either I’m giving you bad news I try to be very positive Hey, and I always use words like we are going to work on this together, you know you and I were going to fix this with us, you know, we try to use warrants intentionally. So I always make notes about how the person received what I told him some people get very bristled up, and they just they don’t want to hear it they think whatever and I do make those notes because not every time but that turns up ends up being a pattern of behavior that I noticed that the person I see if it seems like I said they’re sincere apologetic, and they genuinely want to correct the action. Rarely do I make it past Step three, I mean if that said because the person just wants to fix it. I’m like, so the people that bristle up and kind of like I don’t know what you’re talking about. If I do that, like when I go to the next step. I’m, I’m trying to be very specific with examples text like that and because of the world that we all work in there’s usually a ticket there’s a phone call, there’s an email there’s something. So I tried to bring specifics to the table if there is a specific thing that they’re not following, because sometimes that helps the word see it like in black and white, if I can show you work we can listen to a phone call together, and you’re not delivering the the core value of some type of customer service and we can listen to that call I can coach them on the call, a lot of times I find very specific things will help that person, if they just if they weren’t getting it like Alan said you’re just not getting it two or three if that’s a

thing to help

that person. Sometimes I can still get that person to turn a corner and get them back. Back on the right path. And it’s work on the person’s part to gather that data but I mean if I liked the person they’re a good fit, they fit the core values, and we got to do whatever we can to me it’s worth it to make that effort to gather all that stuff up. You know I’m saying and then, you know, phone calls, if somebody has a bad one. I tried to bring the opposite, if they had a really bad phone call the person called the owner we’ve all been there and the person was really rude on the phone or whatever. I tried to find a really, really great one, and say, this phone call right here, are you killed it. This is you know this is exactly what I’m looking for. So this one right here let’s listen to this one and they’re like, Oh my gosh, that’s really bad that’s really awful and email a ticket, it’s hard to show them this is where you’re killing it. I know you can do it so we got to like we got to do more of this and cut that out.

Allen Edwards 48:53
Brooke I think you have an excellent point kind of tying tying it back to the title we we created for this presentation which is, these are things you owe your team members. It’s not just good for you you have to deliver these things to be a fair person who creates an environment people want to work and succeed. Not everybody’s gonna get right in the first try, you will save people’s jobs by doing this. You will also save yourself some headache by firing a few folks to get to the end.

Brook Lee 49:23
It’s just no your employees and might say just, you know, I feel like you just want to try to do, like say what you owe them is the title of this thing. What can I do to help keep this person from getting fired that’s my job as their manager. What is it, can I do to help this guy or this girl, not have this happen again that’s my job that’s my responsibility they made the mess up but it’s my job to help them fix it. So that’s why I used to be in the US or whatever because in the end it’s all me I’m the person I’m responsible for this person so what can I do to help this person so that we can fix this behavior.

Allen Edwards 49:58
Very good points. So, I fixed this, the slide here so that I can just copy and paste this over all the other videos I’m kidding. All of the error stand. I would say is that means are I copied and pasted this from our process I have to fix that too. Alright so, up next for it dogs, we do not have a topic yet, even though we’d love your feedback on what the topic should be Tracy you mentioned one before we started. You remember what that was.

Brook Lee 50:28
It’s been a while. Before I eat anything with employees it’s always a

Allen Edwards 50:37
release one to commiserate together

Brook Lee 50:40
was something to do with people it’s.

She talks about it right at the beginning in our work.

Allen Edwards 50:46
When we do our HR stuff and see what we feel like we could possibly present some expertise in a Veronica did pick us a date of September 23rd 11:30am Pacific, or 2:30pm, Eastern. I believe we have one gentleman from South Africa on if we’re not opposed to other times we tried a few didn’t quite have as many attendees, but we do have the replays as well. Thank you for being here. So look for in and outside and all that soon. That’s going to be next. And as a quick note, there are resources you can get at your own wikipothesis Comm. All of these little numbered sections. This is where the process is at however to get that link, you do have to join our community. At $49, a month. We’re going to sneak a discount code into the follow up email giving you the link to this recording, the recording we will send you for being registered, so you will get the recording which you can see most of the process in there anyways. And there’s a seven day free trial so if you just want to pop in I will not be offended if you want to pop in, get the free trial. Grab that process you can download it in Word format. If you don’t like whatever else you see, please go ahead and cancel. It’s okay. Otherwise we’d love to have you stick around, especially for our always change the name Veronica listening the name of our monthly conference. She’s looking for the undo button CTRL ALT a I think it is also,

Unknown Speaker 52:22
um, community, call conference. Once the conference call conference call. Thank you.

Brook Lee 52:29
CCC.

Allen Edwards 52:32
We have a monthly community conference call, formerly called coffee or tool which was a lot of fun but not a very great name for marketing. Unless you that’s in the coffee and color. So we have is once a month in that place as well where it’s one on one if you have a question about your business we can answer that there because it’s a more private group. You’re also welcome to contact me and the team directly at is my email address, despite what it says what it might look like. It’s only mailbox I have, call us. And of course don’t forget if some reason you got this invite outside of it Doug, we’d love to have you, at it Doug, if you’re already in there, we’d love to have you participate more. So please, come see us. Any final questions before we disconnect chats good fix my slides. Father good chat Good. All right. Thank you all so much for joining us this morning I had a lot more fun than I expected. Usually I have a little bit of fun. This was a lot of fun, rewarding feedback inspiration and all these cool virtual backgrounds.

Have a good one guys.

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Faith Johnson

Faith Johnson