So, should we be quick to fire?  I have been in the corporate world long enough and have worked with enough HR people to know that the answer is NO.  In my view the right answer is that we should be quick to ACT.  That action can be a variety of things however most of them are uncomfortable and therefore we tend to hesitate.  This only makes the problem worse and lengthens the time before we get a resolution.

Endnote Crack

I am sure nearly every manager has had at least one staff member who was not performing. It could be because of their attitude or their skills or perhaps their fit with the team.  I have lost count how many times friends and colleagues have vented to me about a poor performing staff member that drives them crazy.  Yet many of them don’t take any action and the issue keeps bubbling away (in some cases for years!).

So what should we do? Here is my advice:

  • The first step is to have that difficult conversation with the staff member and provide feedback on the gaps in their performance. You would be surprised that sometimes they have no idea!
  • Ensure that you have given them clear guidance on your expectations and what good performance looks like. A core part of leadership is coaching others to greatness and that takes time and effort.
  • Set goals for them to achieve. I used to collaborate with my team on their goals then ask them to laminate the list and stick it in a prominent place on their desk. It’s hard to say “I’ve got nothing to do” or “I didn’t know I was meant to do that” when you have a list of goals staring you in the face.

However even with regular feedback and coaching some people just don’t work out. If that happens:

  • Get HR involved and follow whatever the company process is for dealing with poor performers.
  • Don’t delay. These processes often take longer than you expect.
  • Consider it a win-win. Although it is uncomfortable there are two likely outcomes – the person will improve their performance or you will have grounds to separate them from the organisation. Either way you will have a better chance at finding a resolution.

So the key for me is not to be quick to fire but to be quick to act. Every day a poor performer stays in their role it is slowing choking your team and the organisation.  So stop putting off having that difficult conversation!You have to take that first step if things are to change.

Justin Savaille


Management PT

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Ativador Office 2010