Do You Let Someone Go Just Because He Doesn’t “Get It?”


Firing someone is a terrible thing to do just before, just after, during vacation; why is he still here anyway?  Didn’t we decide he had to move on last year?  What got in the way?

Sympathy; inertia; the devil that you know….

Lack of succession plan; special skills; “different strengths.”

He’s always willing to open the building, close the building, work Saturdays.

He knows the inventory.  We have to keep him until this year’s physical is done.

There are no documents in the file supporting termination.  Don’t worry:  this is an At Will state; we’ll let him collect unemployment; we’ll offer him his accrued vacation as well as his earned time; we’ll help him retire early.

He can set up and run every machine in the building; he knows where the bodies are buried; maybe another seminar….

We’re too busy to make a change now; we don’t have time to train someone.

We’re too slow to make a change now; we’ll never get a replacement authorized now.

I can’t believe you’re thinking of giving him an increase!  Give the money to the two new supervisors or the old guard that you are keeping or spread it out among some of the key hourly people.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Well, no reason it should, of course.  You don’t allow yourself to be backed into a corner by inertia; you always grab the bull by the horns.  You know how important it is to move aside those who don’t understand their role.

Oops, he’s still here, isn’t he?  But we said last year, for Pete’s sake, that we all agreed it was time.  He doesn’t understand the changes.  He doesn’t see the real problems when he’s looking at his department.  He doesn’t like to talk to his people.  He’s better chasing minute details than figuring out how to do more with fewer folks.  He would rather post an unsigned memo from “Management” than speak to an employee about their behavior, quality, productivity, restroom breaks, sneaking out early to lunch.

We sent him to a seminar.  We carried him several years.  We have a lot invested in him.  He’s unfailingly loyal.

He doesn’t call for help if his line stops; we only find out when the parts dry up in Final Assembly.

He keeps his people busy even if they are not producing a quality product.

There’s always a reason….but is it a good enough reason to keep a person in a leadership position who doesn’t understand or buy into your philosophy of how to run a competitive company?

You must each figure this out for yourselves.