Client Question: “How do you know that it is time to make a change on your team that may result in someone leaving the organization?
It depends on the type of situation you are facing. If the person is doing something really blatant that warrants their termination, then it is easier. Get HR involved and talk to them about what occurred and move forward with a course of action. However, it is the other situations where they are doing just enough to get by, have a bad attitude or are struggling a great deal that make it more challenging for the leader. Your role is to ensure that the team is strong and the organization is meeting the goals that it needs to achieve. Ask yourself if those things can happen if this person isn’t doing enough? You need to give feedback and help them see where their behavior needs to change. Are you starting to see improvements? If not, then don’t wait too long to figure out your plan of action.
If you are in this situation, there are usually three options to consider:
- Stay in the role – giving the person the feedback of what behaviors you need to see differently is key here. This may also include feedback from peers, other managers and clients to drive home the message that it is not just their own manager seeing the issues. Put together an action plan of what they need to do, your expectations for success and hold them accountable for it. Suggest some coaching or mentors to help them. Continue to evaluate if there is consistent behavior change to determine if they should stay long term.
- Find another role in the organization – there are times that the role people have been put in may not be a good fit for them. Look at their strengths and help them understand what some other options may be. I have seen this work very effectively and the person is much happier taking on a role that plays more to their strengths. Support them by reaching out to other managers in the area that they may want to go into and see if there are any upcoming roles that may be a good fit. Suggest that they do some networking in that area to start building relationships and understand more about the area. Recognize that this may take some time to make happen and ensure that they still remain focused on their current role until this change occurs.
- Leave the organization – This is obviously the most difficult. Some people will see the signs and start looking for a role outside the company. It often depends if they are really accepting of the fact that they need to leave. It can be a really hard fact to accept especially if the person has been with the organization for a while. Skills sets and the capabilities of what will make a person successful can shift as the organization’s needs change. Not everyone can adjust to these changes even if they really want to make it work. Work with your HR team on the process that your organization has for this type of situation. You want to be respectful to the person and ensure that you are following the rules that are in place.
All of these situations require a lot of your time. Ensure that you are having honest and direct conversations with the person, so that they know where they stand throughout whatever option is chosen. You will need to trust your judgment and have a lot of courage to do the right thing. Focus on what is in the best interest of the company and the affected person to lead you in the right direction.