Leadership 302: Maintaining Teams (Level 3)

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Level 3 – Creating Teams

Use the right technology, supplies, and atmosphere

Avoid an open-office environment

  • While open-office environments are convenient for managers, they stifle the ability to focus solely on one task for a long time
  • Contrary to popular opinion, open-office setups force people to retreat into mobile devices and headphones through feeling an invasion of privacy
  • The open-plan office has been proven repeatedly as a cause of stress, conflict and employee turnover

Maintain proper equipment and supplies for your members

  • Take their suggestions for supplies, but consider the budget when making decisions
  • Bureaucracy about minor items often builds a culture of distrust

Make sure everyone is using the correct software and tools for the team’s needs

Make logging in simple for everyone by using one account for everything

Let the workers choose their computer upgrades

  • Technology always costs money, so when managers determine upgrades they may go unused

Prevent IT disasters

  • Avoid laptop theft with MyLaptopGPS or LoJack for Laptops
  • Use cloud storage and backup to prevent data loss from hard drive failures
  • Teach everyone safe computer use
  • Install antivirus software on every computer to avoid a network virus
  • Stop in-house technological sabotage
    • Passwords do matter
    • Separate IT roles and responsibilities to prevent one person with all the power
    • Require the IT department to monitor actively for logic bombs

Don’t drop too much on new team members

The new experiences mixed with high expectations will create discouragements to their success

Invest into each new member while training

  • After you’ve thoroughly trained them, pay them to quit to avoid bringing on disloyal members

Contrary to popular opinion, team involvement and great work are unrelated

Each person’s contributions make the team’s efforts, not how well they get along

If someone does a task well and receives recognition, they will have no issue with a conflicted team

Members don’t always need access to a larger team and more resources to succeed

New teams often do worse than old teams because the people haven’t formed into a performing unit yet

Make large objectives, then small ones

Make specific tasks and goals for each future period

  • Annual objectives pursue big-picture large-scale things
  • Quarterly objectives break out the other three quarters of the coming year
  • Monthly objectives and weekly objectives focus on the immediate quarterly result

Set out metrics (measurable numbers) to track each objective

As time passes, make new short-term objectives and adjust the long-term ones

Write out each of the goals as a 250-word paragraph

  • Specify the result and timing for delivery

Compile a summary of objectives the group achieved every quarter

  • Write a paragraph for each quarterly objective articulating if you completed it and anything the organization learned
  • Include metrics on where the company struggled or thrived
  • Describe how events occurred as well as what the company could have done better

An annual report can easily be a combination of the four quarterly summaries

  • Annual reports are necessary for the company’s history and future planning
  • The outline of an annual report is the past year’s objectives

Communicate clearly and directly

Most professional communication is through meetings or written updates

Communication ensures a few things

  • Team members align with group goals
  • Each person is accountable for their responsibilities
  • Everyone is transparent about their progress

Whether it’s an email brief, letter, memo, or text, management will test your communication skills

  • Always respond to every communication

Meet with each member one-on-one, ideally once a week

  • Ask for them to bring an agenda for discussion
  • Take notes for follow-up action items and commitments
  • Avoid discussing specific tasks and focus on their personal growth
  • Acknowledge each improvement from a previous weekly update
  • Give opportunities for them to face their fears on their own

Great managers instruct quickly and clearly

  • Start with what they need to do, then explain it
  • Point your finger to precisely indicate what you’re referring to
  • Never debate for longer than you need and give orders to clarify the boundaries

Always specify what you want

  • Give specific goals
  • Read and re-read each goal to ensure you both understand fully
  • Let them know how and when you’ll follow-up with them

Remember what you told them in the past

  • Many bad managers give conflicting instructions and misunderstand the worker trying to do both things
  • Invalidate any previous commands you may have provided

Ask them to repeat the task if you have any doubt they heard you

  • People are often distracted when you speak to them and will mishear part of a command
  • Repetition seems redundant but is critical to ensure both people see the same idea

Avoid formal performance reviews if you can

  • Standardized performance reviews don’t work, but they can potentially discourage members
  • If you do need performance reviews, only cover information you’ve already covered with them in the past

Run meetings like a science

A meeting uses everyone’s time

  • Add up every member’s hourly wage together to determine the meeting’s cost

Your needs will vary, but most successful meetings are as short as possible

  • Never let a meeting devolve into status updates
  • Every meeting should focus on members’ concerns

Outline all plans in writing to ensure clear follow-up communication

  • You can’t prove anything happened if it’s not in writing
  • Written clarification holds people accountable and protects everyone

Use an alternate communication method if you can cut a meeting down to fifteen minutes

  • Send written communication for anything that doesn’t have to be in a meeting
  • Streamline or modernize meetings with Jell, Solid or Stormboard

Meetings come in two broad forms

A. Update meetings involve everyone sharing progress on a task or objective

  • Avoid update meetings if you can, since you can accomplish them with written communication

B. Status meetings discuss solutions and come to an agreement

  • Sharing information to a group where everyone else can ask questions
  • Get information from a group about ideas, thoughts or expectations
  • Answer questions anyone may have
  • Involve the group in making decisions
  • Brainstorming ideas or solving problems
  • Networking among others at the meeting
  • Selling an idea, product or service
  • Showing or providing support for others’ ideas

Not everyone should be at each meeting

Meet with a few people daily for 5-10 minutes for a status update

Gather the whole team for 30-60 minutes the same time once a week

  • Praise specific people for exceptional work that week (2 minutes)
  • Share metrics like customer growth (3 minutes)
  • Each leader shares summaries of their departments (20 minutes)
  • The leader shares strategies and why the group’s actions matter (5 minutes)
  • Make a task list for each member that they collaborate with

Meet with the leadership once a week to answer the following questions

  • Progress on achieving current quarterly objectives
  • How the market or environment is responding to the organization’s actions
  • How the team is performing and any significant necessary changes
  • The financial position of the company and review of metrics
  • Solve short-term obstacles and concerns

Schedule executives every month for several hours to form strategies on large-scale issues

Send top leaders off-site every quarter

  • Review past performance
  • Connect quarterly progress with yearly goals

Meet with all leaders for a few days at the end of the year outside the office

  • Reflect on the year’s successes and failures
  • Identify the coming year’s most important priorities
  • Define goals for the next year

Thoroughly prepare for the meeting

A. Define the purpose of the meeting

B. Determine who needs to attend and why

  • Make sure everyone knows the meeting’s purpose before attending it

C. Structure the meeting for your purpose

  • If necessary, use Robert’s Rules to pace the meeting and capture any communications
  • Decide and enforce how you’ll keep an informal meeting focused

D. Set the location and time of the meeting

  • People with late-night lifestyles won’t perform in morning meetings
  • Provide lunch at afternoon meetings or set them after lunchtime
  • Everyone wants to leave in the evening, which makes them unproductive
  • Match the location to the setting you want for the meeting
  • Set the time at an odd time, like 5 minutes after the hour, to accommodate latecomers
  • Prevent needless distraction with a standing meeting

E. Display an agenda for everyone before the meeting starts

  • Post the agenda and documents at least 24 hours before the meeting and clarify that everyone must read the materials before attending
  • Clarify all responsibilities during the meeting
    • One person will direct the meeting
    • Someone who understands the meeting’s purpose will take notes during the meeting
  • Only specify up to three agenda items
  • Use the Rule of Five for each member
    • Discuss two current tasks
    • Discuss two future tasks
    • Talk about one crucial task which isn’t happening for some reason
  • Make a schedule which accommodates others
    • Give extra time for both explanation and discussion
    • Wait 5-10 minutes at the start of the meeting to allow others to refresh their memory on materials
    • Specify ground rules for the meeting about permissible discussion topics
  • The most effective hour-long meetings don’t use conventional presentations
    • A 6-page typed evidence-based narrative guides information meetings
    • Successful meetings asking for input provide all information beforehand and skip any presentations
      • An excellent non-presentation meeting with a shared vision can be over in as little as 20-30 minutes
    • Make meetings 15-20 minutes or two hours, but avoid a one-hour discussion

F. Confirm who is going or not going to the meeting and make backup plans for non-attenders

Keep the meeting on-track

Bring snacks or food to give energy and focus the team’s thinking

Start on time and don’t stop the meeting to explain to anyone who arrives late

  • Keep to the meeting’s schedule

Only discuss topics on the agenda

  • Make a list of other thoughts for a different meeting

Run meetings openly

  • Be vulnerable and emotionally present during the meeting
    • Find similarities between yourself and them and share mutual difficulties
  • Team dysfunction will often stop open dialogue or permit dominant personalities to overpower the meeting
  • Foster healthy discussion about other options

Clarify the next actions to take

  • If the group must agree, count a vote ranked for each option
  • Specify deadline dates, times or expectations for tasks
  • Openly talk about risks connected to tasks
  • Clarify who will do what

Follow-up the meeting

  • Distribute all notes to everyone
  • Track anything promised during the meeting
  • Take future meetings off the calendar or change its format if it seems unnecessary

Try the Stepladder Technique to generate new ideas

  1. Give the task or problem to all the members
    • Ask them to think of a good solution to the problem
    • Give them plenty of time to find opinions for a suitable answer
  2. Create a core group of two members to discuss the problem
  3. Add a third member to the core group
    • That third member shares their ideas before hearing the other two members’ thoughts
    • Discuss the options together after all three have shared their ideas
  4. Repeat the third with each new member until you’ve involved all members
  5. Reach a final decision after everyone has presented their ideas

Each person has a different set of motivations

Motivations vary even with the same goals

Money is always a great incentive, especially against peers’ income, but it can’t be the only one

  • Balance their work between achievement and challenge where they both feel they’ve succeeded and see more room to grow
  • They are most motivated when their boss both works harder than them and cares about their success
  • Great workers never feel paid enough to work for bad managers

Since motivations depend on personality, some are opposite each other

  • Working conditions
    • The work itself
    • Social recognition for completing tasks
    • The social experience of making detailed shared action plans
    • Exclusive control or responsibility of a project or task
    • Defined structure and organization for systems or methods
    • A lack of structure to give freedom to explore alternate methods for tasks
    • Permission to fail while trying to succeed
    • Mixing pleasure and fun with business
    • Non-cash benefits
    • Free time to think and explore other projects
  • Short-term goals
    • Completion of a project
    • Listing clear and tangible project outcomes
  • Long-term opportunities
    • Opportunities for advancement or promotion
    • Opportunities to learn and grow
      • Fill the organization’s library with multiple copies of business and self-help books, then encourage them to take whatever they want
  • Purpose and meaning for their work
    • A meaningful way the task will improve someone’s life
    • Opportunities for creative expression or spontaneity

Some things always discourage workers

  • Stifling policies or needless bureaucracy
  • Over-involved supervision
  • Unhealthy relationships with supervisor or peers
  • Unsafe or uncomfortable working environment
  • Salary or benefits feel inadequate
  • Little to no social status from the work
  • Little to no job security
  • Unclear direction about the project’s direction
  • Very little confidence in personal ability

Ask directly to discover what they want

  • Everyone has different tastes they don’t always express
  • Follow-up on any ideas they provide or they may hate you for listening without acting

Management is coaching

The term “human resources” imply managing people like supplies, but people have individual lives and personalities

  • Learn the difference between coachable development needs versus major unchangeable flaws
  • Only direct their tasks, not for members to change something they can’t

Good managers understand their value comes from their team

  • Managers receive all the work, and it’s their duty and honor to give to the members
  • A good manager’s relationship with the rest of the team must build on trust and honesty
  • The manager is the members’ servant, but it’s the manager’s responsibility to show it

Advise the team with the technical skills that brought you into management

Most members grow quietly disconnected to their managers if they don’t feel the manager coaches well enough

  • Communicates strategy and values vaguely or shows conflicted priorities
  • The senior team is ineffective at their core tasks
  • Leader’s style is too controlling or relaxed
  • Doesn’t inspire peers to communicate with each other
  • Poor leadership or management skills
  • Little to no communication between manager and the rest of the team

Continually improve the team’s positive culture

Stay optimistic, happy, confident and energetic

  • Be someone others want to follow
  • Positive and confident leaders make happier workers
  • Happy workers are more productive and please customers more

A great manager comfortably adapts to volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous changes

You don’t have to be fearless, but you do need to look fearless

  • Make decisions with a decisive attitude
  • Learn how to manage conflicts and negotiate
  • Take full responsibility for whatever happens
  • Behave as if what you’re familiar with whatever you’re experiencing

Stay perpetually available emotionally to slowly win others’ trust

  • Leaders must inspire thought to build a reputation with members
  • A new leader will fail and is responsible for accepting that failure, learning from it, and moving on
  • Make a digital suggestion box where they can anonymously send you messages about ideas

Look at a work environment as a team of people

  • A small group is a team, not an organization or a structured system
  • The group is more a community than a machine
  • A larger organization is an ecosystem, not a battleground

Show your human side to demonstrate everyone is in a shared win/lose situation

  • Expressing humanity is more difficult than it sounds because you can’t fake it
    • Managers must identify with members’ feelings and defects of character
  • Fully express a variety of appropriate emotions to your team, especially anger and joy
    • However, don’t let any negative feelings linger for long
  • Always direct positive feelings like joy and happiness toward the person and not only the action
    • Though it’s often challenging, sharing open happiness always pays off
  • Target negative feelings like anger to actions and never people
    • Anger focuses others on the source of the anger
    • Anger generates confidence in others from the rush of adrenaline
    • Channel any anxiety or fear into that anger

As vulnerable as you must show yourself, never lead with your emotions

  • Instincts and gut feelings have their place, but analytical members will distrust you
  • Act in the best interests of yourself and the organization, since one member can sabotage the entire group
  • Living a principled life will naturally work against leading with feelings

Competition among members can be beneficial, but too much will destroy relationships

  • By its very nature, competition creates distrust and insecurity
  • Never compare a member’s performance to others, only to their past self

Give consistent advice and constant recognition

In general, give praise in public and criticize in private

Never mix constructive feedback into praise

  • Any criticism invalidates the praise you just gave
  • Save your criticism for later

People need recognition to feel valued

  • Workers perform better when they know someone cares about their work
  • The right recognition to the right people inspire a challenge to the rest of the team

Workers naturally sense when others value them or when they’re disposable

  • Younger workers need a role model to aspire to and more opportunities to grow and advance
  • Older workers demand respect for their skills and enough job security to retire with dignity
  • People who feel valued are more inclined to share the organization’s vision

Deliver praise as frequently as possible and intentionally set aside time for it

  1. Tell them right away you are letting them know how they are doing
  2. Praise them immediately, not later on
  3. Tell them what they did right, and be as specific as possible
  4. Tell them how good you feel about what they did right and how it helps both the organization and others who work there
  5. Stop for a moment of silence to let them “feel” how they did
  6. Encourage them to do more of the same
  7. Shake hands in a way that shows you support their success in the organization

Some praise is more effective than others

Only deliver genuine praise

  • People know when others patronize them
  • Avoid formal recognition programs since they’re rarely genuine

Praise the effort put into an accomplishment, not the accomplishment itself

  • You’re trying to inspire achievement, not results at all costs
  • Try to catch them doing something right when they don’t think you’re watching

Surprise them to keep them engaged

  • Deliver random and unexpected praises for their performance

Cash gifts always work but aren’t the only way to give rewards

  • Give unexpected gifts (tailored to each person for more impact)
  • Try celebrating instead of a reward, which is essentially recognition but more fun
  • Dinner with them requires their mandatory personal time

If you have fixed incentives tied directly to performance (like sales commissions) avoid anything which favors underachievement

  • Giving inadequate praise to higher achievers creates team dysfunction
  • Foster healthy competition with fun and lightweight non-cash incentives
    • Something people want will inspire them to sabotage each other
    • Not everyone responds to competition with enthusiasm

Create a culture of worker appreciation

  • Inspire them to thank each other
  • Give incentives for them to catch others doing well

Deliver criticism correctly

Warn them immediately that in no uncertain terms you’re about to let them know how they are doing

Make the first half of the reprimand a clear warning

  • Correct them immediately
  • Tell them what they did wrong, and be as specific as possible
  • Tell them how you feel about what they did wrong in a way where they can’t misunderstand how you feel
  • Stop for a few seconds of uncomfortable silence to allow your feeling to sink in

The second half of the reprimand should encourage them to do better

  • Shake hands with them in a way that shows you’re honestly on their side
  • Reaffirm you think well of them even though you dislike their performance in that specific situation

Never, ever bring it up again if they improve

Help them improve their career

Give them career development resources

Share personal network connections

Give hard-to-deliver feedback if their behavior is stifling their growth or potential

  • Spend more time in one-on-one meetings for them to talk out their challenges

Give them opportunities for learning experiences through failures

Give them enough time to enjoy their personal lives

Model your non-work life before giving input

Don’t let them frequently work late or on weekends unless they insist

Consider adding more part-time or temporary team members if there’s more work than the members can keep up with

Managing crisis is a critical part of management

Most people don’t handle crisis well

The crisis can vary

  • Worker conflicts
  • An external problem
  • Team member failures
  • Your failure
  • Another department’s failure
  • Something nobody could have predicted

Foster a culture that endures problems well

Encourage open discussion and disagreement to let the whole group see an issue

  • Welcome conflicts as they arise to avoid dysfunction from not dealing with them
  • Invite constructive criticism to hear what people think
  • Don’t merely debate, give orders after everyone has voiced their issues

Train everyone for perfection

  • Have them practice tasks, then have everyone else criticize them
  • Grade how they perform as well as what they know

Frequently review behaviors you’re rewarding

  • Consider whether you’re showing favoritism or have a bias

Treat everyone with professional dignity

  • Giving severance pay to let someone go is often worth the cost

Involve the group with the community

  • Participate in as many activities and causes as possible when things are going well
  • Communicate the organization’s message to everyone through all channels
  • Get direct customer feedback instead of hearing workers disagree with an idea

Cultivate a culture of innovation

Crises aren’t fully avoidable

Assume the problem is worse than it appears

  • Over-reacting will cover unseen risks from small problems

Assume there are no secrets and everyone will hear about the issue

  • People like to talk about bad news more than anything else
  • Trying to hide a problem makes you appear to be part of the problem
  • Assume the public will portray you in the worst possible light
  • Society usually looks at authority figures negatively, so expect an automatic bias against you

Presume you’ll need to change people and processes

  • An issue will happen again if you don’t act to add or remove the system’s elements
  • Sometimes a problem repeats itself because you made the wrong call
    • If you made the wrong call, try to make amends to anyone you’ve accidentally wronged
  • Offer incentives instead of ultimatums when making changes
  • If you’re motivated, you’ll survive changes where the group will grow stronger from it

Take extra precaution with a remote workforce

Communicate more frequently to compensate for not seeing them in-person

  • Connect more often with them
  • You will usually need a daily or semi-daily meeting, especially in large teams
  • Plan discussions ahead of time to compensate for spontaneous meetings which would have arisen in person
  • Everyone has a separate schedule and will often work around personal life, so stay flexible

Instill a culture of trust to ensure everyone holds themselves personally accountable

It’s impossible to derive a gut instinct from a video chat

  • Drive performance on data instead of gut feelings
  • Coach and lead other workers with your top performers

Look for opportunities for personal interactions

  • Make fun events to honor birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and any other special events

Meet in person routinely and set aside part of the budget for it

  • Real-life engagements build connections and bonds in ways distance can’t

Great managers give incentives before punishments

People only feel actions or learn from them if a leader connects them to consequences

  • Allowed to learn their lessons
  • Rewarded for their achievements
  • Managers will look past the action into others’ motivations and feelings

You can force what you want, but it creates long-term distrust and hatred

  • Kindness, passion, support, and gratitude give great results by comparison
  • Deliver orders as recommendations or as a shared need
  • Treat others the way how you’d wish if you were in their position
  • Good leaders believe leadership is earned, not given

Correct members when it’s called for

If you must reprimand, forget about the event afterward

Leaders must make difficult decisions

Stay out of disagreements among members

Don’t let them bring you in to mediate a problem

  • It wastes everyone’s time, especially yours
  • It creates divisiveness among members from an appearance of lobbying
  • It fosters a political culture which fights for your favor

If you must get involved, follow a few rules

  1. Information is free, and anyone can bring up anyone and anything
  2. Members with the conflict must try to resolve the situation with a win-win answer
  3. Only bring the problem to a manager if everyone can’t reach an agreement
    • They must present it as a shared narrative with possible solutions
    • Clarify unresolved trade-offs
  4. If the manager gives a resolution one of them dislikes, that person will resolve it without the manager
  5. That person can only take it to the manager after it’s stayed unresolved
  6. If anyone doesn’t agree with the situation, the manager can take forceful action

Each person loses their dedication to a group in a different way

Burned out from working too much

  • Works frantically until exhaustion and then vents about it
  • Does unrewarding tasks and cynically avoids doing the job
  • Feels too much stress and responsibility, then loses all motivation to keep going

Decreased professionalism at work

  • Doesn’t respect management any more
  • Customer service is no longer a priority
  • Behaving as if they’ve already accomplished enough not to need to work anymore
  • Gossips about others not in the room with them
  • Takes full credit for good things and deflects everything bad to other members

Increased hostility in the work environment

  • No longer doing favors like staying later or coming early
  • Saying “that’s not my job” about anything outside of the job description
  • Treats their experience like it’s a physical commodity and insults less experienced people with potentially more skills, performance or achievement
  • Uses peer pressure to discourage more determined workers

Disengagement from the work

  • Consistently calling off, not coming to work or taking days off
  • No longer caring about their work quality or fulfilling deadlines
  • A general sense of apathy about the work

Firing and rehiring for the position is often far more resource-intensive than providing more motivation

It costs more directly

  • Extra advertising, recruitment, and training costs for new hires
  • Firing the wrong way causes expensive legal risks
  • Financial performance of a new worker is universally weaker

It has indirect costs

  • Missed deadlines and interrupted workflow
  • The team’s reputation is damaged
  • Decreased customer service
  • The group shares less knowledge among each other

It’s destructive to team morale

  • More absences from stress
  • Other team members start leaving from feeling unsettled
  • Damaged relationships

There are many good reasons to fire someone without looking into it further

  • Sometimes the role and the individual can’t naturally match
  • Maliciousness towards anyone else, especially subordinates
  • An older worker who needs to retire
  • Doesn’t improve no matter how many times they are corrected or spoken to
  • Continually disrespects and subverts the workplace culture

Bad workers come in a few varieties

Don’t jump to conclusions

  • Someone under-performing might have an attitude problem, but they may experience an isolated incident
  • Several people under-performing demonstrates your failures as a manager

Incompetent and ineffective

  • Often quite happy but very low performers
  • Disorganized and passive to doing anything
  • Resistant to any changes
  • Drive them to work more effectively
    • Use steady support
    • Plan their improvement
    • Give extra training
    • Supervise more closely by tracking their performance
    • Demand accountability from them
    • Train them more and give more mentoring opportunities

Lazy and uninterested

  • Unmotivated to do any tasks or fulfill any deadlines
  • More reserved and quieter
  • No longer interested in advancing their career
  • Keeps poor track of time on projects
  • Wastes time on the internet or phone
  • Consistently gone from work
  • Inspire them to work
    • Find their hidden resentments
    • Give explicitly clear expectations
    • Do unscheduled checks on them
    • Increase their rewards for succeeding or give them a portion of the organization’s income
    • Give them unique assignments to expand their scope of responsibility

Selfishly overworking

  • Refuses to hand off projects to others
  • Unaware of personal limits
  • Undermines confidence of other members
  • Inspire them to be more of a team player
    • Force them to delegate projects
    • Reward their ability to work in a team
    • Give them more time to relax and encourage paid time off

Socially engages more than works

  • Distracting and loud to the rest of the team
  • Unfocused and uninterested in the work
  • Immature and unprofessional to the point of causing a social backlash
  • Help them focus more
    • Consistently redirect them back to the project
    • Clarify what others expect from their behavior
    • Use their interpersonal energy and skills

Socially disrespects everyone

  • Bullies or intimidates subordinates and peers
  • Doesn’t obey rules and has issues with authority
  • Manipulates and sabotages relationships
  • Provide clear boundaries
    • Enforce a safe environment
    • Take complaints about them seriously
    • Carefully document unhealthy behaviors and look for likely motivations
    • Trust your instincts about them

Try to motivate them more before considering firing

Keeping a terrible worker is far more expensive than finding a new one

Most people feel uncomfortable asking for a pay raise, and it may be overdue

Fire workers correctly

Sometimes you will have to lay off workers

  • Procrastinating layoffs make the process harder since your relationship with them usually improves over time
  • Allow more time for future growth and healing by laying off everyone all at once instead of a few smaller ones

Keep employee turnover costs in mind

  • Losing an employee can cost from $10,000 to 1.5-2 times the employee’s annual salary
  • Turnover costs come from bringing the worker to peak capacity
    1. Hiring costs including lost time interviewing and sifting through resumes
    2. Training and HR costs
    3. Costs of the new hire learning the job role’s intricacies
    4. Costs of time with an unfilled role
  • Calculate team turnover costs
    • Associated Costs x Turnover Percentage x Number of Workers

Make firing go smoothly

Manage their transition out of the group

Fire with complete certainty, and manage the process intentionally

  • Firing should be the last action of a long process

Own up to it unapologetically

  • They don’t care how much it hurts you
  • They should know why they’re getting fired
  • Say “I’m sorry, but I have to let you go” without any further apology or explanation
  • If they try to argue, don’t make it a back-and-forth conflict
  • Don’t ask if you can do anything for them since they will want you to give them the job back
  • If they were laid off, do everything you can to connect them with work elsewhere

Have a witness during the conversation to ensure they don’t make false claims over what you said

  • Even if it seems patronizing, it’s necessary
  • At the same time, don’t do anything condescending like escorting them to the door that that makes them look like a criminal

After you’ve fired anyone, learn from your mistakes

You will make hiring mistakes, so own them and move on

Improve your interviewing process

  • Use personality tests more and pull from your network more frequently for leads
  • Look for motivations when hiring, not skills
  • Use job descriptions with more requirements for performance and less for skills
  • Focus on better quality candidates instead of more of them

Look at your organization’s culture more closely

  • Try to improve it for future candidates

Make your relationship with future candidates better than the terminated worker

Don’t pay a salary premium to compensate for an unhappy work culture

When marketing the job, focus on growth, impact, and care

  • Growth is essential for everyone, but more for younger workers
  • The work’s impact is also critical for younger workers but matters to everyone
  • Care is vital for everyone, but older workers are far more sensitive to neglect

A worker who quits leaves management, not an organization

They will leave for many reasons

  • They feel disrespected or not listened to
  • They see others given preferential treatment
    • They had work taken from them and given to other workers
    • Peers receive opportunities they’re not allowed to attain
    • Someone else took credit for their accomplishments or ideas
  • They don’t see opportunities for growth or professional development
    • The job isn’t what they expected
    • They feel a mismatch between the position and the person
    • They don’t feel they received enough feedback or coaching
    • Little to no recognition for their work
    • They don’t feel they’re paid enough or have inadequate benefits
  • They feel their values no longer coincide with their leaders’ values
    • Management is exercising morally questionable or unprofessional practices
    • They’ve lost trust or confidence in senior leaders
    • The organization is confusing and uninspiring or poorly managed
    • Too much work or a work-life imbalance causing stress in their personal life

Have an exit interview to find out why they are leaving and what would inspire them to stay

If they choose to stay from a counter-offer, keeping them in the long-term is challenging

  • They might disrupt the rest of the team from a feeling of inequity
  • Gracefully let them go and maintain a good relationship to open up a possible future recruitment
Next: Level 4 Leadership – Creating Leaders