No one is irreplaceable, but …

Originally posted July 2, 2017.

From an employee’s perspective, it’s always helpful to think of the mantra “No one is irreplaceable.” It’s important to remember that there may always be someone out there who can do your job faster and/or better than you can.

But if you’re a business owner, manager, or HR manager, it’s important to avoid callously saying that.

Sure, anyone could be replaced. And sure, there may be someone out there who can do the job faster or better.

But it could also take years to replace that individual.

So if you’re thinking of firing someone, consider the cost involved. You may find that it’s harder to replace that individual than you may think.

A few examples come to my mind.

-I’ve known a church that let go of a good pastor for some very minor reasons. It took that church about six years to find a stable pastor again.

-I’ve known a small newspaper that struggled for several years to ever find a good salesperson. They had some come and go, but none of them ever paid for themselves. They wasted money for years on salespeople who never sold as much as they were paid.

-I’ve seen manufacturers fail to retain their rank and file employees for very long. The manufacturers then fall behind on their orders and then risk losing customers due to poor quality or slow delivery time.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Sure, employees can be replaced. And you must fire bad employees.

But are you sure you’ll be able to find employees who are better than the ones you have?


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