De-selection and self-selection

First of all, I don’t like firing people, it’s not something I enjoy, but there’s something called de-selection and self-selection which makes it a lot easier.

De-selection is where I say to someone, “Look it’s clearly not working out,” and self-selection is where pressure is applied to someone and then they realise very quickly that they don’t fit.

Because here’s the thing, the reality is if someone doesn’t fit either from a cultural or performance perspective and you know it, they know it too, they just may not be willing to admit it.

So, it’s up to us as leaders to help them find their calling and the longer we hold on to someone that isn’t a performance fit or cultural fit, the longer we’re doing damage to service as well as they’re doing us a disservice.

I think any time you’re in a relationship and it’s not working and you don’t end it, both of you are doing a disservice to each other because you’re not allowing the opportunity for them to find what it is that they really want in a relationship, whether it be a business or personal relationship.

I don’t like this term but it helps create a context – human resources look at people as human assets and the goal is to invest in an asset that produces a return but if you can’t get a rate of return that is where it should be within the first three months, you don’t have the right talent in the building typically.

So it’s really important at this point for us to learn how to drive the conversation without creating an event that is negative for either party.

The way that I go about it is I basically is to basically have a conversation every month with m team.

“How do you feel you’re going?”

Saying that opens up the conversation for, “I feel like I’m doing well”.

“Do you feel like right now we’re seeing the best of what you can do?”

And that conversation by nature should give them the opportunity to reveal whether or not they’re doing the best or not doing the best, and whether or not they fit.

But what I find in most cases when you have that conversation with the right intent, it will end very well, but sometimes people will fight for their job because they’re attached to the pay cheque and they don’t care about their culture or your culture, they don’t care about their performance or your  performance and they’ll fight for the job and that’s where you have to be a little bit firmer and just basically say look, the reality is, this isn’t just working out.

You know, they say you’ve got to have a thick skin in business, it’s not about having a thick skin, it’s about learning how to create a detached empathy and realising that if you have someone who isn’t performing in your environment right now it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, they may have their own challenges that are presenting.

Does this person fit in this environment at a performance and a culture level or do they not fit in this environment? Because everybody fits somewhere, it’s just they may not fit with you.

I think the best thing that we can do when we realise someone doesn’t fit is to apply pressure and start having conversations with them to keep the communications going and move it in the direction where it makes most sense to go.

My view of it is basically if I don’t let this person go, I’m actually setting them up to fail because they can’t do their job but I’m also holding them back from finding where they belong and even if they don’t understand that, and they might have tantrums that’s just okay, because I know at some point hindsight will kick in.

Kerwin Rae