Let go

Letting go of your people is always a tough call to make. Sometimes some hiring is a miscalculation, and the expectation is mismatched. The probation period helps, but it is too early to make a call. There are other unprecedented reasons which make it impractical. A growing company always plays on chances, potential and gut.

We must do the risk vs opportunity calculation even when playing the infinite game. In simpler terms, what value-add is the person bringing to the table? You have to take care of the intangibles like an effective communicator, referring new team members, bringing up an important question, handling a difficult client, taking care of a big client, giving a deck presentation etc.

If you are not happy with them, you should be able to give them a few more chances by changing their roles and responsibilities. Your metric should be objective and fair. It should not be relative to your personal feelings. You should be able to treat them as an asset to the organization and create a SWOT analysis. If you are a good leader, you will be able to see the opportunity cost of letting them go.

When you decide to let them go, make sure you atleast give them three months’ informal notice so that they can find another job. It all depends on your working relationship with the person and your work culture. Few of our past team members informed us one year before leaving us.

make choices that are small enough that they’re effectively temporary. When you make tiny decisions, you can’t make big mistakes. These small decisions mean you can afford to change. There’s no big penalty if you mess it up. You just fix it.

from the book Rework

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