CHICAGO–Growing pains occur anytime someone starts a new job, but just how long are managers supposed to wait for that new hire to find their groove? And what if they never find it?
Those questions were examined by Mandy Gilbert, founder and chief executive of Creative Niche, who offered “three signs it’s time to fire those ‘good enough’ employees.”
Writing on Inc.com, Gilbert noted it’s every leader’s job to deal with employees whose performances aren’t quite up to par.
“When this happens, do some reflection first. Have you provided enough resources, including a coaching and development program?” asked Gilbert. “From monthly check-ins to direct feedback, your leadership team should have laid out clear expectations for every position.”
If you've ticked all the boxes, then it's on to plan B, according to Gilbert, who said effective leaders know when someone is no longer making the cut. “There is only so much you can do until an employee's mediocre work becomes harmful to your organization,” said Gilbert. “Even if it's not noticeable right away, an employee's lack of motivation to apply your critical feedback will begin to reflect in their effort and attitude.
“This is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn when I started my company,” Gilbert continued. “I convinced myself that with the right amount of encouragement, support, and feedback, a so-so employee could easily become a star. So I kept waiting. And waiting. I spent hours of my time on their development; time that should have been spent on people who were actually showing promise.”
To that end, Gilbert offered these three signs that “it’s time to say good-bye.”
They Only Do The Bare Minimum
“Without fail, you know the employee will arrive at work at 9 a.m. and head out as soon as the clock strikes 5 p.m. Even on those days when deadlines are looming and the rest of the team is in the weeds, they never stay longer than what's minimally required,” wrote Gilbert. “I'm all about work-life balance, but sometimes a job will require staff to stay an extra hour or two in order to get things done. These situations come up from time to time, and it's on those days that employees will show their true character.
“It speaks volumes when a staff member leaves their team high and dry. This will further cause more rift in your current team, as everyone else is having to pick up the slack.”
They Only Think About Me, Myself and I
Gilbert wrote that every leader should empower their staff to make decisions and work independently.
“No one can develop and grow professionally if they are dealing with micromanagement. With that said, they also have to be a team player,” Gilbert said. “One individual cannot carry a department, let alone an organization. So if they avoid collaborating, silo their work, and ignore a colleague's requests for help, it's time to consider their toll on the business.
“If the employee's work was exceptional than their employment could be worth considering; but when they're only producing average work, it's likely time to notify HR.”
They're Influencing The Norm
If you keep one average performing person, then what's stopping you from keeping another? And another?, asked Gilbert.
“It's a domino effect that around can turn your talented team into multiple 'good enough' performers,” Gilbert said. “This causes a slew of problems that could directly affect the business. You wouldn't settle for an average surgeon or be content with sending your kids to a mediocre school, and talent should be no different.”