As a leader within your organization and/or manager of a team, sometimes you have to make the tough calls. Say, you may like an employee as a person, but realistically recognize they’re not a good fit for the role or the team. And, unfortunately, if you can’t move them to another more appropriate role as part of a new team, you’ll have to let them go.
Sometimes it can become harder when they haven’t done anything particularly malicious or damaging to the integrity of the organization. But here’s where adopting a leadership mindset can ultimately shift the energy of the conversation — and your role in it.
To begin with, think of this unavoidable decision as giving them — and yourself — permission. It affords them permission to find where they really belong and can thrive. And, it offers you permission to find someone else better suited for the role. That way, it’s a benefit for the organization, as well as allowing that individual to thrive. A win-win!
Secondly, know that the reality in some cases is that the employee themselves may (or may not) realize they aren’t a good fit but strive — often painstakingly — to make things work. It could be for many reasons, like fear of losing a paycheck. It’s important to know these feelings are not for you to fix. But rather, for you to remind them of what their strength areas may be and to possibly suggest resources.
Lastly, it sometimes happens that the organization is hesitant to replace an individual from a position. The hesitation can stem from concern over how long it may take to transition to a new person in that role. Plus, they may worry about whether there are any critical pieces that will be left hanging or fall through the cracks. And/or they may keep the individual employed because of ONE thing they do really well; when meanwhile there are seven other key priorities on which they are unable to follow through.
Regardless, the resounding takeaway is this: It’s amazing the difference it makes when you make a decision and take action — really. Indeed, sometimes you may not see the positive impact — or even the extent of it — until you hire someone who is great at that particular job. However, when you do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the decision sooner!