When Colosi Associates meets with a client who is replacing a financial or human resource officer, sometimes the employee has been told that he/she will be replaced. Sometimes the employee hasn't been told.
Hiring managers may call us before there's a final decision, seeking an objective professional opinion. They often ask, “What should performance look like in the role?” No one is perfect, but over time, it's a human tendency to just accept that an employee’s hard or soft skills aren’t quite up to expectations. But all the little things that they do or don’t do can add up to significant underperformance. Objectivity is most certainly lost when you enjoy working together, making it even more difficult.
I've always thought that it's much better to be transparent with the employee about the decision to exit him/her and have a transition plan (hopefully after many prior communications about performance and efforts to remediate) rather than an abrupt departure.
If there's a strong possibility that the employee would be disruptive or that sensitive firm information would be at risk, I can understand why a quick departure might be the only option. Absent these conditions, after reading David Siegel's Harvard Business Review article about the benefits of transparent departures to both the hiring manager and the departing person, I am totally sold.
Benefits of transparent departures
Reduced legal risk
We've noticed a very common theme in talking to executives who have under/non performing members on their teams. An elevated level of personal stress and anxiety is a big one, for both executives and the underperforming team member alike. Consider also how the employee feels about coming to work every day knowing he/she is not performing. And what's the effect on the team?
Broader organizational department structure discussions are right in our wheelhouse if you just need an objective ear. Feel free to reach out - we will gladly help you through this sometimes difficult transition.