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Are You Afraid to Terminate?

Oct 28, 2014

Posted by

Carla Cross

About Carla Cross, CRB, MA                           Read more

head in the sand a salespersonAre you afraid to terminate? Do you, as I have, put your head in the sand and hope things will change? How to let someone go fairly--with grace--is a huge challenge for many managers. This challenge just came up again. I was just asked by an association of real estate companies to do a leadership webinar on standards. Before I do a 'live' presentation or a webinar for a particular group, I use my Pre-Conference Survey to find out exactly what their needs are.

(Note: If you do presentations for 'outside groups', consider making a pre-conference survey so you find out their exact needs, cultural specifics, and market differences. It makes a huge difference in your ability to deliver to their needs). This was the question that stood out most to me in the survey.

Question: How Do You Terminate Someone Fairly and Effectively?

Do you believe that the person who is failing knows he/she is failing? Of course they do. And, the longer they fail, the further down their self-esteem sinks, the further their confidence shrinks, and, finally,

the person simply quits working!

They still may be employed/contracted with you, but, they aren't doing the things necessary to move their job forward. So, it's not fair to simply let them continue failing. Nothing will change. You must step in.

The 'One Last Chance' Conversation and System

I'm a huge believer in game plans and systems for situations. That means you are fair with everyone. One of the reasons managers don't want to fire is that they are afraid they will be unfair--or perceived as unfair. The way to take away those fears is to implement a system to give each person one last chance (this is after you have tried your normal coaching and training methods).

What's in the One Last Chance' Conversation

Here are the steps to terminate someone fairly and with grace.

1. Call the meeting. Do not engage in small talk. This is serious; it has no social aspect.
2. State that the person has not met your standards (minimum expectations). You DO have those in place, right?
3. Tell the person you will provide them one last chance.
4. Show them the performance system you will use (something like The On Track System to Success in 30 Days).
5. Get agreement that the person will use the system.

Make The Time Frame Short

I have been snookered by the best of them! I've learned to make the time frame no more than 30 days. You want that person to go right to work. You also must reserve the right to terminate at any time.

Good News: They Will Let Themselves Go 50% of the Time

You will find that many people are just waiting for you to provide that last chance, so they can face the fact they really don't want to work. They will let themselves go.

When You Terminate

You have given them a fair chance. You have been straightforward. They have not gone to work. All you have to do in your termination conversation is to state just that. 95% of the time you will get no argument. In fact, they will thank you for being honest with them. Using these five pointers will allow you to let them go with grace, and relieve your mind that you are fair in your termination guidelines.

What's your biggest mistake in termination? Let me know and I'll share mine with you, too.

On Track Mgr Pkg 2nd edition webYou Need a System to See if They'll Go to Work!

The 

On track to Success in 30 Days System will provide you the plan, the support, and the coaching you need to see if this person just needs a fresh start--or whether they don't intend to go to work. See it here.