Now that a new year has begun, you should take time to reflect on how you're treating your employees. Are you doing everything to help and support them? If you have an employee whom you're thinking of letting go because of declining productivity, says serial entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis, you need to consider giving them a second chance.
During the Inc. 5000 conference, an audience member asked the "business turnaround king" if he believes underperforming colleagues can be put back on a positive track. "I've got someone on my staff and I've been struggling with a decision to possibly ask for his resignation. I would not be in this room without him. He's performed like a rock star for a number of years, but he's gotten very comfortable and complacent for the last few months and the business is suffering," the audience member said.
"Yes, I believe people can be rehabilitated. I am one of them. I got off course in my own life and started doing things that were silly and became complacent," Lemonis responded.
Before making a decision, he added, a closer examination of the siuation is warranted. "I don't know what kind of rapport you have with him, but you said for a number of years he was a rock star and in the last couple of months he hasn't done well," he said. "How did you go from zero to 60 in a couple of months?" And how did you get there so quickly that you're ready to let him go? And, do you know what's going on in his personal life?"
The audience member said he didn't know what might be going on his life that would contribute to his poor performance, but said "I care about him deeply. I have counseled him a few times as a peer."
Lemonis then offered what he would do: "If he was part of bringing you to the dance and really has personal issues, I would reach down in my pocket and give him a 30- to 60 -ay sabbatical." He explained that if at the end of the sabbatical the employee is not ready to come back, then it's a smooth transition out. "I wouldn't just terminate him, because I think you'd scar him for life. People have personal issues, we just don't always know about them."
Take heed in Lemonis' advice and make sure you are there for your employees in their time of need. It's the least you can do for someone who has devoted a good deal of their working life to your company's success.
Watch the video from the Inc. 5000 conference below.