One of the main reasons firing sucks for both leader and employee is the reasons for the employee being let go are typically ambiguous, with obvious exceptions for physical violence, all forms of harassment, theft or insubordination.
Letting an employee go will probably never be a pleasant experience for a leader, but to provide a measure of comfort that their decision is correct a leader can ask themselves about these three Cs.
- Was I CLEAR in my performance expectations? using a sales example, several leaders told me their performance expectations for their salespeople were "go sell" or its cousin "go sell £X," which provides as much direction as "go climb that mountain."
Having clear performance expectations means documenting the specific activities you expect of your employee, how much and how often you expect them to perform those activities and what happens if they fail to meet those performance expectations. This is covered in more detail "consequence ladder" section in chapter 4 of Hamish Knox's book, Accountability the Sandler Way.
- Was my employee offered COACHING and other development opportunities to increase their performance? if your gut response is "yes" ask yourself if your coaching was tactical or strategic.
Tactical coaching, the type most leaders do because it falls in their comfort zone, addresses what to do with the specific issue your employee brings often boiling down to "when I was in your role, I would have...." Tactical coaching doesn't help an employee grow, it creates "learned helplessness," which puts them back in your office every time an issue comes up that is outside their immediate knowledge base
One of David Sandler's rules is "the problem the prospect (employee) brings you is never the real problem." Strategic coaching solves the real problem, which usually means a) the tactical issue gets solved and b) that same tactical issue is unlikely to come up again.
- Did my employee demonstrate that they were willing to CHANGE? "demonstrate" being the key word. "Sure, I'll get better" is great for an employee to say, but their actions will tell you if they're worth keeping.
A client had an employee who wasn't performing to expectations. We created a performance improvement plan (PIP), but my client was concerned about implementing because they were leaving for vacation the following week. My response, "when you get back you'll have three weeks of data. If your employee hasn't done anything in the three weeks you were away to prove they want to perform that's more information than you would get if you were around watching them every day."
If you were completely clear with your employee, offered opportunities to coach and develop them and they demonstrated an unwillingness to grow then your mind can be at ease that letting that employee go is a good choice for you and your organisation.
Until next time, go lead.
Six Ways To Be A More Effective Manager
Part of your responsibility as sales manager is to help your sales team increase their capacity to perform and improve the outcomes of their performance. To that end, you conduct regular sales meetings to hold them accountable, you provide coaching to keep them on track, and you provide training when needed.
What do you do to improve the outcomes of your performance when you’re conducting those sales meetings, providing the coaching, and delivering the training? In other words, what do you do to become a more effective sales manager? Most sales managers would answer, “Not much.”
In this report you will learn:
So, what can you do to improve your performance and be a better manager, mentor, and motivator?