Making A People Change

An employee who’s served the company for several years is a more difficult decision to release. My client felt that he had been covering for this person for some time and this individual was not reaching the goals that they’d set for the past two years. He acknowledged to me that he should have followed Jim Collins Good to Great Discipline #2 much sooner. He finally decided to release this person after he had to fix another botched sale and assignment. His customer was upset. After he let this individual go my client discovered that there were more errors and customer service mistakes to clean up. The topper was this person informing clients of a new email address without letting clients and prospects know that they were no longer employed. It made the transition more difficult; however it certainly confirmed he’d made the right decision.

How many times has this happened to you? You wrestle with a decision to let someone go. You make the decision and immediately discover skeletons in the closet. Had you known it would have made the decision simple.

The present economic conditions offer the opportunity for businesses to realize that performance is not a given. After years of having to search for capable employees the role has been reversed. The pool of candidates is much better. You still have to do your homework and have an excellent recruiting and hiring system.

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It is more important than ever in these challenging economic times to make sure you have the right people on the bus. Remember these rules from Good to Great, Discipline #2 “When you know you need to make a people change, act.”

Here are some key points and following those two key questions:

A man packing his stuff

KEY POINTS


  • 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.
  • The time and energy we spend siphons us from developing and working with all the right people.
  • It’s unfair to the right people –compensate for others inadequacies. Drives them away.
  • Equally unfair to people that need to get off the bus –stealing a portion of their life
  • Reason we wait –hassle to replace or we find the issue stressful and distasteful. It is more about us then them.

How do you know when you know?

Two Key Questions

  • If it were a hiring decision (rather than a “should this person get off the bus?” decision), would you hire the person again?
  • If the person came to tell you that he or she is leaving to pursue an exciting new opportunity, would you feel terribly disappointed or secretly relieved?

How do these rules and questions sound to you? Has anyone used these rules for keeping or releasing an employee? Do you have policies for absenteeism, and do you follow them? What’s the point where you decide to let someone go?