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Ripping Off The Bandage

Okay, to what could I possibly be referring?

Well, as pleasant as removing a large, bloody, hair-ripping Band-Aid is (comparable to getting your knee drained after an ACL repair – thanks Atlanta Old White for that rugby memory), many people think terminating an employee ranks right up there.

Like with a Band-Aid, you can fire someone slowly or quickly. My preference is to not get “cut” at all, if possible (to avoid having that Band-Aid to begin with, right?), but if the situation is unavoidable, remove it quickly when it’s time.

Not get cut at all

From our vantage point, we get the opportunity to view lots of organizations and see their inner workings.  In many cases, things are humming along and there are no obvious problems; in others,

Depending upon how far along the discord has been allowed to manifest (typically with miscommunication and resentment serving as the water and fertilizer), a situation can be remediated – many times, the best course of action is to terminate the employment situation in a way that preserves the employee’s dignity but ends the dysfunctional relationship.  “Not get cut at all” means having good structures in place – clearly defined job descriptions, ongoing channels of communication, and ways to deal with the inevitable problems that may arise.

Pull it off – quickly

In those times where the situation is beyond repair, it is best to recognize it and take action.

Last year we had a variety of situations where CSR was brought in, initially, to deal with just that – a situation that had gone terminal and needed to be addressed.

Without going into tons of detail, the protocol is always the same:

  1. Identify the issue

  2. Determine possible outcomes

  3. Select the best outcome per the criteria that governs the situation

  4. Develop the script for how the situation will be executed

  5. Implement

100% of the time, we have been able to defuse the situation. Even highly problematic and complicated situations (e.g. employee theft!) have been resolved in a way that minimizes risk to the organization and enables all parties to get on with their lives.

Ending a relationship is never easy but the relief and good will that gets generated is incalculable. Grab that Band-Aid and yank it!


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