Are you holding onto staff at the moment because you’re receiving government subsidies as JobKeeper subsidies, and feel like you’re getting free labor, but these people aren’t necessarily doing what’s expected of them or not doing a very good job?. 

I’ve heard a lot in the last few weeks. There’s a lot of frustration in the business community with people who’ve got staff that are not performing, Who aren’t stepping up when they need to step up. Who are not even showing up when they need to show up. 

And what’s really interesting is that the sentiment is that we’re getting these subsidies from the government, which is essentially free labor, so business owners are thinking they will keep these people in their business and deal with it in September, October, once the subsidies end. 

And while that’s one’s strategy, my concern with that is, number one, it takes up your headspace. Right now as a business owner, you need to be focused 100% on how you’re going to get through this Pandemic. How you’re going to grow your business. Where you need to seek new opportunities and where you should put your energy. And if you’re having to put your energy into staff who just aren’t performing, it’s a distraction and it’s going to take you away from what you need to be focusing on right now. 

Number two is it’s polluting your culture. It’s polluting the environment. In normal times, we would be performance managing this person. 

So my advice is you need to maintain the standards of what you expect from your team. Irrespective of if it’s free labor or not. Because all it’s going to do is hold back your goal of trying to move your business through this and move to the next level. 

If you’ve got team members, you need to have a very frank and professional conversation that tells them, “Hey, step up. Otherwise, we’re going to have to have a few tough conversations. This is our standard. This is what we expect. This is what’s going to be critical if we’re going to move through this because the subsidies are only short-lived. And you could make it a very easy decision for me, moving forward on who I’m going to keep and who I’m going to get rid of. It’s totally up to you”.  

I know this seems a little harsh, but you need a team that supports you and your goals and where you’re heading for this business. Otherwise, you’re doomed. You’re going to crash. 

You’re going to put all your energy into someone who’s just a cancer in your business and will kill it. 

So rip the bandaid off, have a tough conversation, make it very clear that this is what’s expected. Don’t compromise the standards that you have in your company because of this sort of free labor. 

Better you have all your energy focused on where you want to go without the free labor, right? Because it’s a distraction. And all it’s going to do is end up costing you in the long run.