Friday, September 07, 2012

With Obama asking to not be fired, I think of my years and years of experience as a manager.... and I can count on one finger the number of times where a decision to give an under-performing employee more time has ended up working out.  With the exception of that one time, not once where I held off firing an employee who wasn't doing the job they were hired to do did I not regret firing them when I first concluded they weren't getting the job done.

Under-performers under-perform for a reason... because they're not the right person for the job.  Why they're not the right person for the job may vary - lack of talent, lack of interest or motivation, conflict with co-workers - but in the end, people who aren't producing the results they were hired to produce are not the right person for the job and no amount of extra time is going to change that.

And as much as Obama doesn't want to hear this, there are very few situations where it takes a long time for the employer to figure out whether the employee is getting the job done.  There's a reason probationary periods tend to run in the months and not years, it simply doesn't take years to conclude whether someone is getting the job done.

Managers know real soon whether someone is working out... and they know that problem employees don't all of sudden turn into star performers.  And smart managers know that everyone - with the possible exception of the problem employee - will be better off if they recognize their hiring mistake and deal with it quickly instead of keeping the underperforming employee around.  They know it and the other employees know it.

And if Obama had some real world working experience, he too would know this.