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What To Do When an Employee Is Trying Hard… But Not Hard Enough.

When trying isn’t enough…

Possibly one of the most difficult tasks as a manager is letting someone go, especially when that person is trying their absolute best; putting in extra hours, learning as much as they can. But sometimes, it’s just not enough.

Is the answer to micromanage? To ignore the lack of skill and hope it changes? Or is it perhaps to fire them right off the bat? The truth is, none of these are efficient options. Keeping an honest dialogue is the best thing you can do for that individual AND your company.


1.) First Thing’s First:

Have a conversation. Understand fully where the issue lies and what some potential hindrances are that might be keeping your employee from success. (Perhaps their co-workers have become a distraction or their physical environment is not allowing them to focus.)

Make sure you discuss these topics with your employee, eliminating sources of disruption where you see fit and giving them the tools they need to succeed.

Make a list of their job description and expectations as well. Go over it with them and make sure that you and they are on the same page as far as responsibilities.


2.) Plans… and Ultimatums:

The next step, should you feel there is still a chance for improvement, is to create an outline for what they must do to get to a stable and productive place. Give them key points to focus on and develop plans of action to do so within a specified time frame.

If they do not meet these expectations by the agreed upon time, or if they simply do not agree with the plan, it may be time to let them go. Have your employee understand that there are better opportunities best suited to their strengths and that you and they would not benefit from further employment with your organization.

If your employee is someone that can be trusted, offering them a transitional period while they find another job can be beneficial to them and you. It lets them find another position whilst retaining their pay and their status as employed and you, as the employer, can find an appropriately qualified individual without experiencing a full-on vacancy.


3.) Key Takeaways:

Understand that when a relationship with an employee is over, it’s over. Making rash decisions and disciplining for discipline’s sake will give you a bad rep with the rest of your team because many of them will anticipate the same kind of treatment. Giving people options and genuine sincerity is key.



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