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A Summary of

The Best Approach to the Worst Conversation: "You're Fired" 

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First Round Review
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Letting an employee go is a painful yet unavoidable situation for a leader. There are different ways to deal with poor performers:

Early action and being proactive

  • Inaction allows the problem to worsen beyond repair and will also hurt leadership’s credibility
  • Leader’s job is managing their people, so until you sit down and address things, you are the problem

Prevention

  • Ensure your managers receive training necessary to deal with these situations independently
  • Empathy is required for conversations about performance, so team leads should take responsibility for these situations
  • HR is only there to assist
  • Developing a protocol that managers can refer to when in these circumstances

Performance improvement plan (PIP)

  • A manager-employee agreement to improve performance without threatening aspect
  • Provide specific and immediate feedback and end criticism with potential solutions
  • Have employee repeat expectations back to you to ensure understanding
  • Write down measurable goals
  • Be patient throughout process

If PIP is necessary, it shouldn’t be unexpected

  • Use a 3-month plan with monthly checkpoints
  • Phase 1
    • Be extremely involved; micromanage
  • Phase 2
    • Give them space while observing closely
  • Phase 3
    • Grant full autonomy If same behavior arises again in the future, it’s time to have the tough conversation and let them go. All in all, take a tougher stance in the beginning and invest in fixing problems early on to prevent more problems down the line.
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