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Don’t forget about good employees when dismissing the not so good

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Most of the time we plan on dismissing an employee. Perhaps we let it percolate in our minds. Before we gather the steam (documentation, replacement, time etc) to actually make it happen. There are a variety of reasons. Very seldom do we need to dismiss an employee with little or no notice.

The best laid plans though can backfire. Recently a client had me recruit to replace an under performer. The guy had been grating on his nerves. As HR leaders & Recruiters, we love to see a well-structured team, with effective leadership, progressive discipline… and we know it isn't always the case. Having a process and good leaders in place can sure minimize the need to percolate. But you didn't have that and now you’re ready to make your move.

So let’s get that recruiting underway. Oh, look what I found. A resume on a popular job board. For one of your employees that you like. One you want to keep. One you wouldn't trade in for the world. How in the world did this happen? Is it too late to save him or her? Damage control, calling damage control.

When you are ready to dismiss someone that works for you, stop. Think. Have I made sure the rest of my team is happy? Do they see me often enough? Surely they know I am a busy, right? Getting rid of that other person is going to solve all the problems.

Chances are, that little thorn of yours has been irritating their colleagues too. Not just you. It only takes a few minutes or brief conversations, to ask them about their job, give them feedback, compliment them on their contributions, and make sure they have had feedback or a timely review. You would be amazed what one conversation can do to bolster your team. Especially if the soon to be ousted employee is a manager or supervisor of the others. Chances are the others have been internalizing their frustrations.

Don’t hesitate to take your personal leadership practices to a level of greatness, by caring for your employees regularly and not just during a crisis or at Christmas. Acknowledgment and providing opportunity for employees to give feedback are invaluable moves on the part of leaders. Not Managers, but Leaders. Sure we can always find you another recruit, but we take pride in finding employees that are going to thrive with your company and that relationship benefits most when both parties contribute regularly.

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