Management Matters: is a New Article series dealing with the issues that arise when managing personnel and how to optimize your current staff in a company.
You Want To Be A Good Boss But, Do You Need To Be Harsh?
April 1st, 2012
Every manager has to work hard to balance maintaining a nurturing environment with maintaining a certain level of authority. It is by no means an easy task. Most managers fear that if their employees get too comfortable they make take advantage of the easy going environment and slack off. At the same time most managers don’t want to have to be really cut throat all of the time.
It is important that as a manager, you realize that even if your team has done a great job hiring and training and getting to know somebody it is possible that this person simply will not be able or willing to do the job asked of him as it needs to be done. It is a lot easier to deal with this situation if this person is difficult to work with or is simply lazy. You won’t feel bad letting them go and they aren’t as likely to put up a fight. But it is of course also possible that this person will quickly get along with the rest of the office and works diligently but they just aren’t a good fit for the position. No matter how much coaching you give this person they may not be able to do things as you need them to. If this is the case the only solution is to help find them a new position, that position may be within your company or more likely it will be with a different employer.
Firing people is a natural part of being a good manager. Often people get fired for the wrong reasons, these bosses aren’t good bosses. But that does not mean that by firing somebody you are being a bad boss. There are legitimate reasons to let even a hard worker go.
So do you need to be harsh or cut throat to be a good boss? The answer: it depends on what you consider harsh. If you think it is harsh to fire somebody who isn’t right for the job but is in all other ways a good employee then the answer is yes. But in all reality firing somebody who cannot perform and excel at the necessary functions of their job is not unethical, unfair, or mean.
If you do not participate in this behavior when necessary you will not be a good boss. You will be cheating your customers of either good service or good product. You are also cheating your other employees. It is likely that if you keep this person on your payroll your other employees will have to fix, cover up or deal with somebody who is underperforming. This will inevitably make their jobs more difficult. Thus if you don’t fire the people who need to be let go you are not being a responsible manager.
Now you may wonder, what happens if I let somebody go who is picking up the tricks of the trade quickly enough and they end up being a wonderful employee for another company. The fact of the matter is that this is entirely possible, perhaps the other company’s training program is better or perhaps something just clicks within the employee but that doesn’t mean you should just wait around for them to grasp whatever it is they aren’t understanding because it may never happen.