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The Ultimate Dilemma

The Ultimate Dilemma

By: Ross Paterson

Underperforming Employees – Part 5

She is a good person, who has been here a long time, but, is not doing good work (or worse)… Business owners! You are the only one who can fix the ultimate dilemma.

We hope you have been following along with this series of blogs on underperforming employees. You can find the whole process here: Underperforming Employees – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

If we have followed the first 5 steps and the employee cannot make a turn, it is time to make a termination. The stress and anxiety of this decision make this the toughest part of ownership. We know these employees, and quite often their families. A few ideas that can give you peace in the midst of the turmoil.

  • Trust the process. You have done everything that is reasonable, and usually some things that are not reasonable to give this employee the opportunity to improve.
  • The termination will not be a surprise. Hopefully they are preparing for the change.
  • Get focused on the dozens, or hundreds of families that need you to keep this business growing and profitable.


Owners and executives are usually the only ones who can make this final decision. The rest of your team is counting on you, waiting for you, to provide the tough leadership required. And as we have seen a dozen times with our clients, when the leaders won’t take care of the underperformers, the best players are going to be the first to leave.

There is a price to pay, and a burden to carry when we do the right thing. But a much bigger cost if we won’t provide the Xtra Mile leadership when it is needed.