Why, then, might you hesitate to fire such people? Here are four lousy excuses for not imposing proper discipline:
1. "I need him." The poor performer has an indispensable talent or connection you don't want to lose.
Solution: If you find yourself in that position, be realistic: Poor performers, regardless of their unique skills, never justify their costs. You can usually replace them with other talented people who won't be problem employees.
2. "That would be punishing her." When employees are counseled on their, but fail to improve and are terminated, some managers think they are playing the heavy. Not so.
Solution: Don't confuse discipline with punishment. If you've given the employee appropriate feedback throughout, you've done all you could to salvage the employee.
3. "I feel sorry for him." If you discover the employee's performance problem is due to a personal matter, you may feel bad about adding the issue of job security.
Solution: Rather than console the employee, do something. Refer him to an appropriate resource to get the help he needs.
4. "It's my fault." Some managers believe the employee's failure to do a good job reflects poorly on their own ability to hire good people or supervise them.
Solution: The sooner you come to grips with the situation, the better. Level with your boss and HR about the problem. Review the steps you've taken. Don't take it personally.