New Hip Hooray!

My husband has gone through more airport security scanners than any other person I know. He spent his career traveling the globe and now that he’s retired, that hasn’t changed too much. Only now, the wands will be waving and the bells will be ringing to tell the world (or at least the people at TSA) that he has a new titanium friend located where his original right hip used to be.

This new friend did not arrive without much hemming and hawing. First, there was physical therapy, then there was acupuncture and additional exercises, then came the tests and the additional tests and then, after six months of trying every diet and homeopathic alternative and consulting with every doctor necessary, he gave in to the fact that the situation would never get any better. In fact, it got much worse. Much as he might not want to, he must finally replace his old friend, who had truly served him so well – and in so many countries!

And, after all was said and done, he admitted the two things that everyone I know  who has had hip or knee replacement surgery has said – “I wish I had done it sooner,” closely followed by, “It was much easier than I thought.”


I know managers who have said the same thing when they have had to replace a non-performer. They say they wish that they hadn’t postponed it for so long and the process for replacing that employee really wasn’t as bad as they thought.

Besides eliminating the obvious pain of having someone who is not “doing their job” (like Don’s old hip!), here are three more good reasons for you to act fast!

  • Boost Morale – The non-performing employee is affecting the morale of more than just you. Employees who are doing their jobs like to work with fellow employees who are doing the same. Great salespeople who hit their quota on a consistent basis want to be with other great salespeople. Further, when employees see non-performance tolerated, it’s very demoralizing and can make them question being in a company that condones poor performance. I certainly hear about this when interviewing sales and marketing people looking to make a job change. I believe it’s the same in all departments-operations, finance, engineering, etc. Good employees want to be surrounded by people who are as dedicated and talented as they are – plain and simple!
  • Rethink the Job – A big silver lining of the decision to replace your non-performer is the opportunity to rethink the job itself. Maybe some of the responsibilities can be shifted across your organization. Maybe you can create a position that would work better in your group. This is a perfect time for you to go back to the drawing board. It may just be that there’s a new role waiting to be created, or that the vacancy is absolutely the correct one. Either way, it allows you the leeway to re-examine the current role and how it lines up to achieve your tactical and strategic goals.
  • Make Room for a Winner – Most managers rank the task of recruiting and hiring new employees low on their scale of tasks they like to do. I think it should be at the top! I think it’s invigorating to meet potential employees, sell your company and the opportunity that awaits them if they join. Look for a replacement who not only can do the job, but who also has a winning attitude, a good career strategy, and can make a real contribution to your organization.

So, don’t put off the inevitable. While you won’t get a 20-year warranty on your new employee, you will be pain-free and thrilled with the new-found enthusiasm and mobility that your new employee creates in your team.

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