I have yet to meet a leader who has regretted taking action too fast on a misfit in his or her team, but I often meet leaders who regret not taking action faster.
"I should have moved him out of his role sooner," said a CEO who wanted to keep giving one of his executives another chance to prove himself, but in that time that executive caused three other leaders to quit. Given the cost of replacement is 1.5 times an employee’s compensation (when you take into account the cost of hiring and loss of productivity), this delay cost that CEO over $875,000.
The issue cannot always be defined as underperformance. What you needed your team to deliver two years ago is likely different from what you need them to deliver today--but have you reset expectations and considered whether each team member is still in the right role given how fast your company is growing?
When hiring, Amazon always asks, "Is this person better than 50 percent of the people doing this role today?" This is a fantastic way to strengthen those who are coming into the company, but are your existing employees keeping up with the pace? Here are 10 quick questions to help you determine whether you and your company tolerates mediocrity:
Can you immediately think of someone on your team you should have already dealt with?
Do your managers clearly understand your expectations for how you want them to lead?
Do you have frequent forums for managers to discuss, share, and learn outstanding leadership lessons?
Do you hold up your strongest people managers as role models for others?
Do you spend 25 percent of your leadership team meetings talking about your people?
Do you review how successful your new hires are after 90 days?
Does every employee have clear and challenging goals?
Do employees discuss goals and personal development with their manager?
Do you proactively consider how you can move people into roles that match business needs with what they are brilliant at?
If all else fails, do you help people leave swiftly and with grace?
When I advise executives, I explain that the first step is to reset expectations. Every month you wait is a month when you risk that one of your best people will quit. Gather all of your employees who manage people, share your leadership values, and explain how you want them to lead.
Dedicated to growing your business,