Managers have the difficult task of letting team members know when they are not performing up to standards.  Even though we know that we must do what it best for the company, it does not make it any easier when it comes time to speaking to the employee.

Usually the team member will have some sort of idea that things are not going as well as they should.  Possibly they have been told a few times about mistakes they are making or maybe even a warning. They look down and dejected during the day at their desk.

In a recent discussion with another manager who was getting ready to let a staff member go, she brought up the doubts that she was having about this employees’ impending termination.  She wondered if she had done all that she could to make the employee perform better.  She also wondered if she was being fair.

As we talked I had her write down all of the issues that her employee was having with their job.  We then went through each one so that she could refresh her mind about all of the training and retraining she had given this employee.  She even had documentation of discussions with the employee regarding many of the issues they were having, and the employee signed them.

At the end of our conversation she was sure that she was making the right decision for the company by letting this employee go.  She was also sure that she had done everything in her power to give this employee the opportunity to learn, perform their job tasks, and be a good team member.

Even though she felt bad for the employee, she knew that keeping her would only make things worse for both the business and the employee.

In situations like this it is good to be able to talk them through with someone you trust so that you know you are making the correct decision.  It may not make it easier to let them go, but you will be able to do it because you are sure it is the right thing to do.