top of page

Procrastination is NOT a Virtue

or Things Won't Look Better in the Morning

Hiring and firing are two of the most challenging decisions managers have to make. They especially difficult in small businesses, where a wrong decision may be critical but are equally important in large organisations.

I will not elaborate here about hiring– each organisation and manager should consider very carefully when, how many and who to hire at what time, based on the organisation’s needs and abilities. This piece is about firing, or, actually, not firing.

I truly believe that it is a leader's responsibility to do all they can to support their employees' success - when you hired someone you took on a commitment that you should honour but sometimes mistakes are made or circumstances change and there is simply no alternative to firing.

We are all human, tending to be kind whenever possible and but kindness can sometimes lead to adverse results. I have witnessed many cases when a manager knew an employee had to go but stalled for various reasons – “let’s give them another chance”, “let’s wait until after the holidays”, “let’s first hire a replacement”, etc. In almost all of these cases the end-result was worse than if the employee in question would have been let go earlier. The reasons for not acting promptly may vary but the outcome was the same. And unsurprisingly, the procrastination did not improve the employee’s feelings when they got the notice. Chances are that they have been sensing something for a while and were waiting for it while the employer's inability to make a decision only prolonged their suffering.

The above is just an example of work-related situations that tend to be left unresolved due to various reasons. The same applies to replacing an obsolete IT system, repairing the malfunctioning air-conditioning unit, or making this awkward "The Future of Our Relationships" conversation with your business partner. More often than not you will just find yourself 6 months down the line with the same issue (only in worse circumstances) and still have to fix it.

So next time you feel an employee is not pulling their weight, and all measures to improve their performance have been taken; when your IT system fails to deliver; when the air-conditioning unit breaks during a heat wave or your partner lost interest in the business - don’t wait too long. Verify that you are within the relevant legal boundaries and act. Unlike what your mother may had told you when you were a child - things don't always look better in the morning.

11 views0 comments
bottom of page