Consequeces of Holding Someone for Too Long

Have you been in a situation without thinking of what the consequences are when we hold on a team member that loses interest with the entire team and isn’t showing any enthusiasm any longer? Recently I had a conversation with my mother that runs a business about working different ways this situation could’ve been handled.

The discussion was mainly about how one of her team staff was just lacking in her work ethic. She was slow, non-energetic, and throughout the day the manager would be very stressful due to her speed of work. She would on occasion try to motivate her, talk her into giving more passion for her work so they could speed things up and leave customers satisfied, but over-time, it just wasn’t working out.

She mentioned she didn’t want to let her go because she’s been a part of the business for too long, with all the experiences she’s gained and if she were to let her go, finding someone else would seem too expensive for her.

I started to notice something going on here, it wasn’t that she didn’t want to let her go because she was a very experienced member, but rather she’s become dependent on her.

When we start to become dependent on someone for too long, it creates this barrier keeping you from stepping up to take the lead. That person of who we become desperately dependent among will not only notice it, but will take it to advantage and this is where I think starts to get ugly.

Why you may ask? Because a shift in power starts to happen and now the one who is being dependent on starts to play it as a game, sort of like a “you’re nothing without me” type. This will drag the organization down slowly and other team staff will become aware and I’m sure most would start to take off in different direction.

This as leaders makes us weak without hesitation, and we must not be carried into this playing field. What I suggested is that this team member should’ve been let go quickly. The ‘hire slow, fire quickly’ mentality.

When we hang on to a person that doesn’t bring value to the organization any more, they are robbing us- our time, our team, our customers, and our money.

I understand also that there is fear about what happens when we aren’t prepared to let someone go in that moment?

What happened during this situation was that the manager couldn’t handle it anymore and told her how she saw it. She blamed her for being too slow, wasn’t doing quality work and was wasting their time. That staff got upset and at the end of the day she decided to quit.

Soon after they all came to a meeting, they weren’t sure of who they were going to hire next. It was a clueless situation, there was no one in mind for the following Monday to hire. They quickly began post hiring ads everywhere and you could sense the stressful situation they got themselves in. On the opposite side however, they were the ones walking away laughing because they knew she was needed.

So what can we learn from this?

When there’s a person that doesn’t bring value to the organization any more, we have to let them go promptly, but before we let them go; we should prepare ourselves to have a plan of those who can replace them following the termination. This will reduce a lot of hassle and once you’ve found a replacement, it’s best to not go all out on a member in front of everyone, but instead at the end of the day have a one on one discussion with them about their work performance and let them know they no longer will be bringing their contribution to the team. It’s much more organized and saves a lot of time.

What strategies do you tend to use before letting someone go in your organization? Have you ever had to wait onto someone for too long and just decided to stick with it? Was your outcome good or bad? And what experiences have you gained?

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