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Let Them be Great Elsewhere

Sometimes in your professional career you must go out to go up. One of the difficult decisions in management is to let employees go. These are usually good people but no longer fit in the plan for future growth. While such decisions may pull on our heartstrings as we think about the livelihood of these people, there are positive reasons to release someone from employment in your company,

  1. They need to go to grow. We may be holding someone back from greatness by keeping them in a stale position. There is no possibility for advancement or promotion. Their skills will diminish if not challenged. Letting them go will open other doors of opportunity where they can mature personally and professionally.

  2. They need to shine. Many good employees remain in the shadow of their management and peers. Their talent never gets recognized and they rarely get the chance to demonstrate their real skills. Letting these people go is the right move to help them move to the next level in their careers.

  3. They are better suited for "something else." Many people look for employment to pay bills and meet financial needs. They don't want to be there, but don't know where to go. These people need to be directed to a profession that suits their passions and desires. Letting these people go will challenge them to look deeper into their purpose.

  4. They need to lead. Some employees have strong leadership potential, but not an opportunity to have their voice heard. These people command respect, are well liked, and know how to get results. These people may be a threat to the leadership in place and are kept from a chance to be empowered. Letting these people go will make them available to companies that need strong leaders and managers.

  5. It's time. Helping employees recognize a need for transition is difficult, but for some the timing is evident. Age is a common reason to encourage people to move on, but also diminished skillsets, inability to keep up with new theories and trends, or lack of enthusiasm or passion for the role. Letting these people go is often an involuntary reward for their years of service to their profession.

Of course the common reason to let people go is because they aren't performing up to their potential, or able to justify their compensation. However, letting people go is never easy, no matter the reason. It takes courage to make these decisions that will benefit the company in the long run. The costs of running companies continues to rise and eliminating dead weight can ease financial challenges.


If you are contemplating letting someone go, make sure you have a justifiable reason. Make the decision with class and diplomacy. Thank them for their commitment and the time given to their role. If possible, leave the door open. A few years of growth and maturity may make them a better fit in the future.


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