How Do You Get The Wrong People Off Your Bus?

December 15, 2011
Posted by Mark Penick - Franchisee, Link Staffing of Austin

This is the second article in a series of four articles designed to help you, the manager, franchise owner or leader, build a great team of people. In case you’re wondering, these articles are not written for bus drivers! The bus is a metaphor for your company, branch office or department. As leader, you know that building a great company can only happen by hiring great people. Your job is to get the right people on your bus, get the wrong people off your bus, get the right people in the right seats on your bus, then driving your bus to the right destination.

Now that you have hired some really great people, the next problem to tackle is what to do with the not-so-really-great people. These folks are like thorns in the sock to your great people, who only want to surround themselves with talented folks like themselves. The most common mistake that leaders make is to allow low or non-performers to hang on, believing that their own superior management and leadership skills will bring them around. Some can be salvaged, but others are to your organization what a governor is to a motor. They simply limit the speed of the momentum you are trying to build. The task of getting some folks off your bus is never pleasant, but it is necessary. There are some steps you can take to pave the way to improve your team, and create more room for great people.

 Here are some tips to help in the process of removing the wrong people:

  1. Don’t delay in making the removal decision. Give the person time to make a transition, so that you are not stealing their time. Quick action on your part will signal to your troops that you are serious about improving the team.
  2. Be rigorous in your assessment of your people. Apply exacting standards evenly across the board at all times. Your great people will respond positively. Others won’t and will leave a rigorous workplace.
  3. Don’t be ruthless when letting people go. Your talent pool of great people may soon begin to dwindle. Great people don’t like to work for tyrants.
  4. Commit to all the training, coaching, mentoring and evaluation a person needs to become great. If that does not work, you know what you need to know to make a removal decision.
  5. Make absolutely sure, at the outset, that your people understand the rules, goals, and performance standards. Review them regularly, and measure often. Just as carpenters measure twice and cut once, so should be your performance measurement system.

Now that you have hired some really great people and put them on your bus, and you have removed the wrong people from your bus, the tricky task of getting the right people in the right seats on your bus is your next step on the road to creating a winning team. We’ll discuss this together in the third article.


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