Are you going to fire your subordinate? STOP! Do not rush to the decision.
“I have already decided everything,” you will say. “This employee did not live up to my expectations.” Are you sure that the employee is to blame, not you? Every time you are tempted to dismiss your employee, use this situation as an opportunity to analyze your actions. Anyway, you hired a person who could not cope with their official duties. You need to understand how this happened and how to prevent similar situations in the future.
Next, we look at 10 important questions that you must answer before you say goodbye to the "unnecessary" employee.
- 2. Does this employee have the necessary skills and tools to do the job?
- 3. If it's all about lack of motivation, can I correct the situation?
- 4. Does my company have certain gaps in the recruitment system?
- 5. Is the system of staff adaptation in my company perfect?
- 6. Were my expectations too high?
- 7. Did I give an adequate assessment of the specific actions of this employee?
- 8. Did I encourage this employee correctly?
- 9. Did I control the progress of ongoing projects?
- 10. Is this employee suitable for another job?
- Seven times measure cut once
1. Does this employee know what results are expected of him?
You must answer this question first. According to Gary Bradt, a business coach and author of the famous book “The Ring in the Sand. How to revive your life and business from the ruins,” managers often assume that they have clearly explained their demands to their subordinates. However, in reality, everything goes the other way around. According to Gary Bradt, it is not enough just to tell employees what they should do. You need to make sure they understand your requirements. Therefore, ask them to formulate in their own words what their tasks are in the near future and how their results will be evaluated. Some employees just feel free to ask questions, so as not to look silly in the eyes of the authorities. Therefore, it is extremely important to dot the i's before they get to work on the project.
2. Does this employee have the necessary skills and tools to do the job?
There are also situations where an employee clearly knows what is required of him, but he does not have enough skills or tools to complete the task. In this case, you must provide the employee with the necessary tools and teach him the appropriate skills (social and technical) to do his job. If you do not have enough time and money to train an employee, then you need to properly distribute tasks. Do not forget that the skills and abilities of the employee must match the degree of complexity of the project. A good leader will never assign tasks to his subordinates, knowing in advance that they will not cope with them.
3. If it's all about lack of motivation, can I correct the situation?
If an employee has completely lost interest in work, then no courses or trainings will be able to increase his motivation. Therefore, you need to find out why this employee has become so passive. Perhaps you do not appreciate his work on merit, so he thinks: "Why try? Anyway, no benefit from this ...". Or you assign him too simple tasks that do not allow him to reveal all his abilities. In any case, you should talk to this employee face to face to find the root of the problem and fix it.
4. Does my company have certain gaps in the recruitment system?
Sometimes, we blame all our troubles on subordinates, instead of analyzing the work of the personnel department. David Goldsmith, an expert in leadership and management, recommends that you review the recruitment process for your company. When selecting candidates for the position, you should pay attention to their actual knowledge and skills, and not to past achievements. Even if the applicant has a brilliant resume, this does not mean that he will successfully fit into your company. Therefore, continue to improve recruitment methods so that only the best of the best work in your team.
5. Is the system of staff adaptation in my company perfect?
When a new employee gets into your company, he is under tremendous stress. He feels like a tourist who finds himself in a foreign country, completely unaware of the local language. Even if he has held a similar position in other places more than once, he still needs to get used to the specifics of behavior in your company.
Do you tell new employees about the features of your corporate culture, or do you think that they should understand everything themselves? Do you attach to a new mentor who he can turn to when he needs help? Honestly answer these questions - it is in your best interest. If you understand that you are leaving a new employee to the mercy of fate, try to correct the situation. You will save a lot of time, effort and money by providing newcomers with the support they need from the very first day. Otherwise, they will read the tea leaves, trying to figure out how things are in your company. The result is low productivity and job dissatisfaction.
6. Were my expectations too high?
Before hiring an employee who you are about to fire now, you had certain expectations in your head. Think they were realistic? Did you hire a person, expecting him to become your mirror copy? You may have over-raised the bar, and so now you feel disappointed.
Eric Chester, a specialist in employee engagement and the author of the book “The Revival of Work Ethic,” recommends that you revise your initial expectations. If you select an employee for the role of your deputy, do not hope that he will become your clone. Do not forget that this is a completely different person with his abilities, skills, knowledge and views of the world. Therefore, do not demand the impossible from him.
7. Did I give an adequate assessment of the specific actions of this employee?
Your employees will not be able to develop if you do not tell them what exactly they are doing right and what is not. Imagine that you are learning a foreign language, and the teacher does not correct your mistakes in pronunciation. Can you then communicate with foreigners? Of course no.
The same goes for your employees. Your response should be based on the specific behavior of your subordinates. If you do not correct their mistakes in time, they will repeat them again and again. So be honest with them if you want them to improve the results of their work.
8. Did I encourage this employee correctly?
Some managers argue that they need a solid team, and, at the same time, only reward some employees for their successful work. Others want to reduce the level of competition within the team, and, nevertheless, do not refuse incentive measures in the form of free travel and bonuses. It also happens that an employee serves you faithfully for many years, is laid out at 100%, and you do not even think about raising his salary. This leads to a decrease in his motivation, since his efforts are not evaluated according to merit.
If your employees do not behave as you expect, review your reward system. Your subordinates should have an incentive that encourages them to improve.
9. Did I control the progress of ongoing projects?
While working on the project, subordinates may have certain questions that they want to discuss with you. Therefore, you should constantly be in touch with your employees. This does not mean that you have to control their every step. Just be available during the day so that subordinates can call you when they need help. Without your guidance and support, the efforts of your employees will be doomed to failure.
10. Is this employee suitable for another job?
Imagine what it would be like if Cristiano Ronaldo put the goalkeeper in place and Mick Jagger asked to sing opera arias? Perhaps they would have coped with a new role - after all, they would not have to change the sphere of their activities. But would they have achieved the same success in someone else's role? Hard to believe.
Each of your employees is a unique personality, with their skills and talents. It often happens that he simply finds himself out of place. Perhaps you have not studied his personal characteristics well enough, hiring him for a certain position. Or maybe he himself overestimated his abilities, trying to fill this particular vacancy. Now it makes no sense to look for the guilty. The main thing is to understand whether your employee receives pleasure from his work or performs it through force.
If you find out that he comes to the office, as to hard labor, do not rush to dismiss him. It is better to think whether he is suitable for another position in your company. It may turn out that the inept dental assistant will become an excellent administrator, since she has well-developed communication skills. Or that modest lad who cannot make a deal with clients in any way will write a wonderful advertising text for you. Before you fire any employee, ask yourself if he is in a position in which he can reach his full potential.
Seven times measure cut once
Dismissing an employee is a very important decision that needs to be carefully considered. Do not take it on emotions - otherwise, you may lose valuable frames. Always remember that it’s easy to fire a person, but finding a worthy replacement is not so easy. So do not rush to burn bridges. Consider whether the employee himself is to blame for the failures of your company or there is your share of responsibility.
Before you judge others, analyze your behavior. Are you good enough as a leader? Do you treat your subordinates fairly? If you are at a loss to answer these questions, then, most likely, the problem is in yourself, and not in the mistakes of a “careless” employee.