More on “Too Skilled to Lose”


This week I posted a comment about the challenge that comes with terminating skilled workers.  My friend and colleague, Genevieve Daniels, responded with:

“I’ve worked in both environments, one where a co-worker’s behavior was addressed through being “let go” and one in which ineffective coworkers remained because of their technical skill set. In the first case, the culture of performance excellence was maintained. Although it was hard losing the person’s technical expertise, in a very short time period the team was able to recover and quickly moved on. In the second situation, accountability suffered. Higher performers became frustrated that management would allow this type of behavior. People were confused on what was truly valued. My response is as a leader, if you can’t coach the person to the team-player you need them to be, it’s time to make a change.”

Genevieve sums up my sentiment. Maintaining a coworker who is not interested in contributing to the health of a team results in distress, time, money, morale and credibility issues for the leader.

We are well served in the interviewing process to carefully explain expectations when it comes to team dynamics. Best to get ahead of this issue right from the start rather than dealing with the fallout later.

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