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Ask This Question BEFORE You Fire a ‘Poor Fit’ Team Member

Ask This Question BEFORE You Fire a ‘Poor Fit’ Team Member


My name is Doctor George Birnbach and I’ve been getting some really good questions lately about what happens when employees just don’t seem to fit.

Well I like to say that the first question and the second question are easy. Number one, are they a great fit? Or number two, do I need to need to let them go? But sometimes things don’t feel right because the chemistry of the position and the person just don’t gel. But maybe we need to understand that there was some spark that caught our eyes when we interviewed this person that caused us to hire them.

So maybe we just need to shake up that Magic 8 Ball and ask a different question, okay. When we’re looking at an office and hiring, a weak approach to hiring is called hiring by location. I need someone at the front desk, or I need someone to be an assistant, or I need someone who’s gonna do my external marketing. Well hiring by location is weak because it does not take into account the dynamics that are unique to your office, the individual, or your management style. Here’s a better way to design a hiring process. First, start by making a list of the work that needs to be done. Make a list of the work, but also a list of the skills needed to do the work. That way when we’re evaluating the candidate, we’re doing so with their personality type and the skillsets that are needed in mind. This will help us make better choices, and it’s a much better way to begin. What about the employee that seems to be on their way out the door?

Well before we fire them, and have to go through the whole process again, let’s stop and take a minute to outline their skills and personality type. Don’t overthink it, or don’t overwork on this, because they may actually need to go, but sometimes you can shake things up with a job description pivot. Maybe they were hired for one area of the office, but all of their natural talents align somewhere else. It’s worth a thought. So here’s the third question. Is there some other position, some other work, that you need done where you could place them that aligns with their natural talent and would allow them to produce a five times, or 10 times return on the money you pay them? Okay, so here’s a little executive skill for today.

You’re a talented and smart employer. You chose this employee because you thought they’d be a great fit, so you need to learn to trust yourself enough to know that you’re not hiring bad people, but not every person is naturally aligned to do the work you need them to perform. So don’t stay locked in on the position they were hired for. Sometimes we can just pivot them to a new position.

Sure, the work still needs to get done, but sometimes shifting smart people around in an office puzzle builds better skills, better perspectives, and better long-term outcomes.

So stop being so binary in your decision making, and build the habit of always looking for a third option.

My name’s Doctor George Birnbach, out here in the rain, and we’re gonna make better decisions together, bye bye.

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