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Terminate poor performer sooner, not later

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

In 2013, we hired an employee at our retirement planning company.

We felt she had that inner drive to succeed and would be a great cultural fit here. For her first two years, she was just what we hoped. Then, in 2015, things changed. She lost some close relatives, and she just wasn’t the same. Dealing with difficult personal issues, she wasn’t able to fit into our culture any longer.

I told her, “I know you’ve been through a lot, but you’re slipping in this area and that area.”

“Jack, you deserve 100 percent,” she replied. “And I’m not giving you 100 percent.”

It was a tearful goodbye on both sides. When you lose a dear friend, it’s painful. But I felt the quicker, the better.

She was the first person I ever had to fire. But it was done with compassion.

I still see her; she goes to our church. She’s happy today. She’s doing fantastic. And we hired someone who has exceeded our high expectations. So it all worked out.

Jack Teboda, founder & CEO, Teboda & Associates, Elgin, Ill.

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