When somebody isn’t right for your business – they’re typically in one of two scenarios:
- They’re the wrong person – they don’t fit your core values or culture. They’re just don’t fit, regardless of what role they do.
- They’re in the wrong seat – they’re in a job they don’t GWC (get it, want it, have the capacity to do it)
or – they may be in both, but the reality is that they have to go.
As a leader of your business, you have to make decisions for the greater good, and sometimes the greater good requires you to help that person to the door.
Also, it’s actually for the greater good of the employee – they’re stuck working for a company where they don’t fit, or in a role they can’t excel in – it’s not nice for anybody. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to make sure you do everything you can to reasonably help this person transition out of your business.
Coach Up or Coach Out
Prior to having the conversation, there are three things you need to do really well.
- Get your head in a good place. Chances are, this person is a good person, you employed them in the first place because you saw something good in them – it just didn’t work out. If they’re a bad person, which is rare – there truly are few of them in the world, fire them immediately. Bad people are rare, but bad fit happens all the time. When bad fit happens, it’s simply an issue that needs solving (and ultimately, it’s an issue that you created by putting this person in their seat.
- Create the right environment. When someone doesn’t fit the business, chances are – they know it already but they’re afraid to speak up out of fear of losing their job and their income. Ensure that fear is alleviated by making sure that your employees know that you care about their wellbeing. This includes actually caring enough to be honest with them and by helping them exit with their dignity still intact.
- Provide feedback throughout the process. It shouldn’t ever come as a surprise to somebody that they’re falling below the bar on job performance or the Core Values of the business. The EOS tool ‘The 5-5-5‘ is a tool which enables quarterly feedback on values, GWC, and Rocks, and is a great way to do this
If you do those three things – the difficult conversation actually becomes really easy, but you need to be armed with some data – at least three specific examples of performance deficits and feedback from other employees about Core Values violations.
Then, start the conversation like this “I don’t think things are going very well, the business isn’t happy, and from what I can tell – you’re not happy either, and ultimately the company isn’t getting what it needs. We can’t continue like this, the only choices are to fix it, or end it – what do you think we should do?”
Remember – as a leader, you’re here for the greater good of the business.