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Should You Fire or Facilitate Your Worker's Performance Improvement?

Updated: Sep 18, 2023



Are you thinking of firing your worker? Deep down, do you wonder if you have done enough to facilitate their performance improvement?

If so, here is a 5-question checklist to help you decide whether to fire or facilitate their performance improvement.


  1. Are they aware they are not performing?

  2. Do they desire to improve?

  3. Do they know how to improve?

  4. Do they have the ability to improve?

  5. Do you provide a reinforcing environment to support and sustain the new behavior? Those in the Change Management community may recognize these as questions around the ADKAR Change Model, where A stands for Awareness, D, Desire, K, Knowledge, A, Ability, and R, Reinforcement. Your honest, introspective, evaluation of your effort as a leader in supporting your worker's performance, will guide your decision to fire them or to facilitate their performance improvement.

“Done right, a performance review is one of the best opportunities to encourage and support high performers and constructively improve your middle- and lower-tier workers.”

-Kathryn Minshew.


For instance, if you answered "no" to any of the five ADKAR questions, your action may look as follows:

  1. Awareness - if your worker is not aware that they need to improve their performance, your first step would be to bring that to their attention. Give feedback and listen to their response, then take appropriate action.

  2. Desire - if your worker has no desire, or seems not to have the desire to improve their performance, schedule a coaching conversation to find out what is going on first before you make a decision on the appropriate next steps.

  3. Knowledge - If your worker does not have the knowledge required either to perform their work or to improve their performance, this may signal that you need to invest in training and knowledge transfer, in an effort to help them improve.

  4. Ability - if your worker does not have the ability to improve their current competence to the required performance level, this may mean they are not fit for the tasks that require that ability.

  5. However, if there are other tasks, either under your management, or elsewhere, explore whether it would be feasible, and desirable to them and others, to transition into other roles. Note that, their inability to perform may also mark the end of the road for them with you. Be objective and follow the best course for all.

  6. Reinforcement - If the environment around your worker does not support them to adopt and sustain the behavioral competencies required to perform at the expected standard, you may have to audit the work environment to see what needs to shift to support, rather than sabotage their performance.


Do You Need Help with Leading & Managing People?

WhatsApp message Modesta Mahiga, our Principal Management Consultant & Certified Executive Coach, Business Trainer, Change Management & Project Management professional at Modesta Mahiga LLC to explore how we can partner with you to drive individual, team, and organizational results:

+1 703 258 2327.

Or book a Consultation Call through the link below.





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