Real World Decisions - When You Know You Need to Make a People Change
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27TH, 2010
It’s usually not an easy decision to release an employee. This past week three of my clients decided to release members of their staff. One employee had been with his business for over four years, while the other decisions were employees who just recently started.
Although just recently hired, one was a manager, who had passed the rigidity of most of the Topgrading methodology. After a short period of time they didn’t hold up well in the work environment. The person’s recent work record might have suggested this. More on selection process in another blog.
My client had called me several times regarding this manager wondering whether he was going to pick up his game. He started out great with lots of ideas, yet over time his impact diminished, until my client felt he was simply going through the motions. He didn’t seem to pick up on things, and he frequently had to be coaxed into urgency to get things done faster. We’d discussed some of the issues on Why Subordinates Fail
and Subordinates Failure – Management’s Responsibility
, hoping to reverse the slide in performance. The final straw came when the owner decided to spend an hour a day with him hoping to provide him with additional experience and training that he was afraid he might not have provided when he first started. After the first day of this practice my client called me back more convinced he was no longer a good fit. Each suggestion my client made was greeted with defensiveness and push back.
We discussed the issues; I offered feedback and then read to my client the first key point from Discipline #2 from Good to Great "When you know you need to make a people change, act." “The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone you’ve made a hiring mistake – the best people don’t need to be managed.”
He immediately responded with a quick chortle stating, “Why didn’t you read that to me at the start of our discussion?” He had made his decision.
In this case my client did an excellent job of evaluating the situation and not allowing a bad decision to linger too long. The employees who had been supervised by this manager informed my client after the decision, “it was about time.”
When communication is good from top to bottom in an organization the right decisions get made faster.
When an employee has been with the company for a long time it’s difficult to make a decision to release them. What you’ll discover after the decision is made rarely disturbs your decision. We’ll explore another client’s decision on a case like this, plus look at the Discipline #2 rules more in my next blogs
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