Groom or Broom? 3 Things to Consider Before You Terminate

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Aug 6, 2014

At first, Mindy appeared like she was going to be a great fit.

She had a solid track record. She interviewed well. All her references checked out.

But she’s completed her training six (6) months ago and, for whatever reason, she’s performing well below your expectations.

It cost you/your organization a pretty penny to get her this far. And don’t forget, you made the choice to hire her, and your reputation as a good judge of talent is hanging out there for all to see.

3 things to consider before termination

So what’s your next move?

Should you invest more in her training, continue to try to find her ‘on’ switch…or terminate her and go back to square one?

Before you sweep her out the door, ask yourself these three (3) questions:

  1. Have we done the best we can to set her up for success? Before laying all the blame on Mindy, take a long hard look at the training and mentoring she’s received since coming on board. Look, a lousy chef can ruin a choice steak, and there’s a chance she hasn’t been adequately prepared for her role. If that’s the case, you might solve the problem by sending Mindy back to the kitchen for a little more seasoning.
  2. Is there a simple remedy for what ails her? It’s common for managers to take a few small problems they are experiencing with a direct report, add them together, and conclude that the problem is bigger than it is. But before you broom her, ask yourself if you’ve done everything you can to groom her. Maybe with some quality coaching, a few minor tweaks here and there, and a step-by-step improvement, you can transform Mindy into a top performer.
  3. Could this be a case of the right person in the wrong position? There was a reason you selected Mindy over other candidates. You felt she would make a great addition to your team, and your gut instinct could still be accurate. So it’s worth pausing and asking yourself what it was about her that made her stand out. Although she’s not cutting the mustard as an account rep, maybe she’d be a great office manager, customer service specialist, or something else?

Don’t make any hasty decisions

ON POINT — As the economy improves, the war for talent is becoming more fierce. Before making hasty decisions to hire or fire, it may be in your best interest to slow down and let the dust settle.

This was originally published on Eric Chester’s blog Chester on Point