Matthew Brandt, Accountability Cop, Accountability, Keynote Speaker, Leadership Training, Lead

How NOT to let people go!

Mattehw Brandt, Accountability, Keynote Speaker, Accountability Cop, Leadership training,
By Matthew G. Brandt

This is how NOT to let people go! So the day has come, it’s time to let that one employee go. That one person that has caused you so many problems and has been so unproductive that it just isn’t working any longer. We all have know that person and we all have wished the boss would let him/her go. But why does it seem to take so long for someone to make that decision?

We’ve discussed the human nature piece of confrontation and we’ll continue to have those discussions but this is about how NOT to do it. Ideally, it’s a progressive action and the employee has had several opportunities to correct their action and actually save their job. However, when that day comes it is not easy for anyone, especially the leader that has to make the call.

You Can’t Make This Up!

I recently heard two stories of recent firings from corporate America that left me stunned that a senior leader in today’s workforce would ever think this is a good way to do this. The first; the leader emailed a new mid-level manager and told him that he needed to fire employee XYZ today. The email lists the reasons and how he was just tired of this employee working there. The bigger problem other than having a subordinate manager to the leader do this very sensitive action, he mistakenly cc’d the employee in question on the email. Yep, it’s true…. So not only did the employee get let go by cc’d email, it showed the true colors of the senior leader to not have the fortitude to do it himself in person. This is a prime example of what not to do!

Second story is nearly as entertaining (from a pure learning perspective) that is. The next organization was having its weekly staff meeting with all their supervisors. This is a meeting that is normally meant to address the issues of the week, new problems, sales performance and so on. The senior leader in this instance, placed on the agenda (yes for all to see)….”terminate xyz” as agenda item number one!

Can You Imagine!

So imagine coming into the conference room, sitting down with the agenda in front of you and seeing as the number one “new business” is your termination? Well this is exactly what happened, and the leader even went as far as making it a part of the official business of the day by announcing to all in the room. “Item #1, Miss xyz your services are no longer needed, turn in your access badge and leave”…. She was crushed, she was embarrassed in front of her peers and the organization lost a lot of respect by the other senior leader in how that was handled. Understandably so.

Think about this for a minute. You come to an organization with hopes and excitement and a lot of potential for success at the organization that you put trust in to take care of you, in return you do your best to succeed. When it doesn’t work out that way, you would hope that a professional organization would part ways in a professional and private way. That is how it should be done.

These are two quick real-world examples that happened in the last month or so to real people. Do you think these organization, their leaders, their managers are gaining respect in their profession? Do you think these things get out to other employees? You bet it does and the word will quickly spread to avoid this company at all cost. Be cognizant of whom you hire. Take even more care in how you let people go!

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By Matthew