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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 65Take Action on Legacy Employees

In times of change, managers have to deal with legacy employees. Many of these people have been loyal, hard-working, and good ambassadors for your company. But your business is changing in ways that are not favorable to some of them. These employees helped you get to where you are now, and you truly appreciate their contributions. It is not their fault, but some of these people are no longer a good fit for the company. What do you do?

This is a common situation. It is difficult for everyone involved. As a manager, you must balance the needs of multiple stakeholders:

  1. One employee, or a few, who have been loyal to your organization
  2. Other employees who are making the shift more successfully
  3. Your organization's clients, customers, guests, or patients
  4. The people whose interests you ultimately serve—shareholders, taxpayers, donors, owners, and so forth

All the potential solutions we offer here have painful side effects. What are your alternatives? We suggest you start here:

  1. Allow them to continue in their current role, giving them the opportunity to meet the current expectations for the role.

This is the most attractive option for us, and it is the best place to start. Expectations have evolved with changes in the business and some of your employees are not evolving at the same rate. Clarify the new performance expectations. Give them all the support and help you reasonably can. But hold them accountable. This alternative demonstrates ...

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