Why Are We Afraid to Fire People?
I think the word "fire" in the phrase "fire people" is a little bit extreme. Might it be better to say "relocate people" or "transition people"? Fire people is so punitive. It's angry and final. It hurts. And because the word and the act of firing has that connotation, it is an action very few employers do right.
A person is usually fired for of any number of reasons, among them the following:
- He is not doing his job to expectation.
- He has a work ethic problem (i.e. late, sloppy, etc.)
- He is not a team player and constantly works against the group.
- He has an attitude problem.
- He's involved in something unethical or dishonest.
- The boss doesn't like him and wants to move him out.
- The boss has a family member, friend or someone else he wants to put in the position.
- Because of financial difficulties, cuts need to be made.
It's always something. But often I find that employers do not deal with the actual reason for fear of conflict—so they maneuver circumstances and rationale to "move the person out." And that's where the damage begins.
Jeff and I faced a situation sometime back where a development director was so inept, so out of touch, so ineffective that she should have been transitioned out years ago. In the situation we encountered, she had constructed a major gift program and hired MGOs (and spent a lot of money) that was not only worthless, but damaging to the organization.
This development director had somehow maintained her position in the organization, in various jobs, even though she didn't actually belong in fundraising at all. But she had developed, over time, a system that kept her employed and kept her supervisors either believing she was doing a good job, or knowing she was not doing a good job but too scared to do anything about it.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.