When you put people together in a room, there is a vibe.

That vibe either feels good or feels bad. If it feels good, what you’re feeling is good culture, if it feels bad what you’re feeling is a bad culture.

Now in a business environment, this is the difference between high performance and low performance.

One of the hardest things I had to do in my business was let go of a team member who did a role in my company better than anyone I’ve ever worked with in the last 16 years. They were the best and I had to let them go because they didn’t fit in the culture.

Their performance was great but the way that they held their space, the behaviours that they demonstrated was fostering resentment in other team members and all of a sudden we went from having no conflict and everyone on board, to a tension that started to poke up.

Then a resentment started to poke up and you want to cut it before it gets to the gossip stage, which is where people start talking behind closed doors, not openly and honestly.

Hardest thing I ever did was to get rid of someone who is the absolute best at what they did but I did it to protect the culture.

You know, there’s a saying ‘No one man is more important in the mission’ and please don’t think culture is something you get right once and then it’s done forever.

Culture is a very fragile ecosystem. Like I’m going through this phase right now and I’m brewing kombucha. Awesome. It’s such an incredible thing. What I’ve learned through the process of learning how to brew is that the cultural environment is so sensitive that all it takes is one fruit fly to get in there and it can spoil a 10 litre batch, one tiny little fucker.

Here’s the thing, if you don’t check it regularly you won’t even know until it’s too late.

Your culture in your business is exactly the same, it’s not just set and forget. You have to be constantly checking in and checking the temperature of the culture, and the moment you see a fruit fly, you immediately take action and you don’t wait.

We take our time when it comes to recruiting but the moment we realise someone isn’t a fit, we don’t wait to remove them. We have the conversation immediately and we either get them to self-select or we deselect them.

What I’ve learned about people with a bad attitude is it’s like a virus. It can take anywhere between seven to 30 days to spoil a great culture in a business. It can happen that fast and here’s what I’ve learnt, there is no person too important in your business you can’t deselect or self-select, nobody, nobody.

Fire everyone in your business mentally at least every six to 12 months and then ask yourself the question, would I hire them back?

FREE DOWNLOAD: How to build culture that wins

Kerwin Rae