Letting Non-Performers Go . . . Getting Top Performers Going

John is the CEO of a consulting firm in the Midwest.  About nine months ago, the firm added Trevor to their roster of consultants.  So far, Trevor’s progress has been slow and John is wondering what the problem is . . . is it the firm’s process for getting people up to speed or is it Trevor?

That is not an unusual concern among business leaders across many industries.  It takes a lot of time, effort and expense to hire people and at the end of that lengthy and expensive process you want to believe good decisions have been made about the people selected.  Sometimes, in our attempt to remain positive about a person’s future potential important signals about the reality of today are ignored.

I should not have to coddle

Last week in Winnipeg, Canada, a group of CEOs braved the below zero temperatures to gather together and discuss how to improve productivity by systematizing their new hire Onboarding programs.

After completing a painful experience of calculating the cost of keeping a non-performer in a job too long, the group was “on-board” with the concept of ramping people up or weeding people out fast.

Then, as I engaged the group in a conversation about creative ways to help new hires socialize into the company’s culture, Wynn, a successful long time business leader, shook his head.  “I shouldn’t have to coddle people,” he said exasperated.