If you haven’t already read this post by Dennis Romero and his departure from Entrepreneur Magazine, you should. And you should send it to every colleague you know. And pray this never happens to you or your company.
At some point in our careers, we’ll hire a very competent employee who isn’t a good culture fit. Whether it’s the company’s fault because they didn’t see it during the interview process OR the employee’s fault because they tried too hard to fit into a culture that just wasn’t right for them is immaterial. It just happens to the best of us.
What’s important becomes how to handle the situation. I’ve seen a lot of companies get themselves into hot water because they feel compelled to ‘document’ the situation and lamely ‘performance manage’ a person out of the organization. It’s so unfair. To the employee and to the company. Nothing ticks employees off more than being told their work stinks . . . especially if it doesn’t. And, the perception to the rest of the office is the employee is being railroaded.
Companies need to get comfortable with having the “this isn’t working out” conversation. Yes, I realize these conversations aren’t quite as black/white as the “you’re not doing your job” talks.
But, confronting the issue from a more truthful place will yield a better outcome.
Ask yourself realistically, what’s the goal? It’s for the employee to leave the company and find someplace where they’ll be happy. Then you can go back to being happy – without them.
If this is an awkward conversation for you, consider soliciting the advice of your friendly local employment lawyer to help you. Remember the goal; it’s to plan a gracious exit strategy for the employee. The company wins because the employee is gone and the office saw an employee leave with dignity. The employee wins because they aren’t miserable anymore once they leave.
Being a manager sometimes means looking beyond the check boxes on forms. It means looking at real-life situations and developing sincere, realistic solutions. No one is saying it’s easy. But it does make you sleep better at night. Best of all, it makes you a better manager.0