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Submitted by MediaManager on


I inherited a poor performer (yes I listened to all of those casts!) who I co-manage with another manager. This is the person's third role since working at this company because my manager is a high I high S and has admitted that he is a "softie." 

We have been nearing the end of 6 weeks of late-stage coaching. The 2 months before that involved one-on-ones (actually, 2 on ones) and feedback. 

Now senior management wants to put them back in my department to fill an open position I have that I wanted to use to fill with a star (I have listened to all the hiring casts -- still hoping for more of them though!).

In any case, I am furious! Any suggestions? I'm a new manager and this poor performer has been so time consuming and is not helping the organization not to mention challenging for me as a new manager.


mattpalmer's picture

If senior management are hell-bent on sticking you with this albatross, there's not a huge amount you can do about it -- fighting those sorts of "soft" battles tends to end in bent relationships and you losing.  That doesn't mean that you shouldn't make it clear, in a polite tone, that this person is on their way out, and that you've got someone far more effective waiting in the wings -- but if they shut you down, you'll just have to wear it.

The nice thing is that, if you've been doing the right things up until now, you'll probably only have a month or so with this poor performer before they're shown the door.  The MT recommendation is that you should work with a person for at least six months before you fire them, regardless of their prior reputation, because you want to be able to gather the evidence yourself, and assure your own conscience that you're not hanging a misunderstood genius out to dry.  In this case, though, you've already been working with this person for some months, doing O3s, feedback, presumably making notes about their performance, and now you're running through late-stage coaching.

On that basis, I'd give them a small but reasonable window of opportunity in the new role, just in case a miracle happens, and then gather up all your paperwork and fire them.  Listen the "The Corky Story" (part 1, part 2, part 3), about how Dani, one of the MT presenters (and a hell of a nice person, to boot) inherited a poor performer with political connections in the organisation in her first managerial position -- and fired him.  It wasn't easy, but she got it done, and I think it will be an inspiration for you.

Good luck!

MediaManager's picture
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I can't wait to hear it!

For anyone who came across this post and is curious as to what happened:

I had my meeting with senior management. I explained to them the late-stage coaching that had been going on, my documentation (done in the MT manner), feedback, etc. And in the end we came to agreement about a solution that will make sense for everyone involved.

My fretting before was based on things that were miscommunicated to me.

The management trinity comes to the rescue again!!!

Thank you.










amanchauhan's picture




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You should work with the person at least six months. It’s about work. This needs to be handled as up front with possible ways as per management rules.