Program Success Starts with People: The 5 Principles of Monitoring Team Performance (Principle Five)

Principle Five: Termination – the Last Resort

As the saying goes, bad news doesn’t get better with time.

If someone is continually underperforming and/or causing issues, keeping them on will fuel a festering situation. This is oftentimes not as easy as it sounds. As we've discussed, It can be difficult to source, onboard and retain quality team members.

Referencing Documentation

When you reach this stage with a team member, referencing the feedback and documentation that you have been filing away becomes critical. In many cases, you will need this documentation to protect yourself and the company in the event the employee takes any action and retaliates when terminated. At the very least, you will want documentation to be able to demonstrate a repeated pattern of issues and related behavior.

Time permitting, obtain any critical documentation and information that will enable you, as a manager, to ensure continuity of work. If this is not possible from a time perspective, you will need to perform clean-up after the termination.

Taking Action

It is always recommended to take separation actions in-person and ensure another witness is present with you. This protects both the employee as well as you.

Schedule a formal time with the employee to have this important dialogue. During this conversation, explain your decision with comprehensive reasoning and disclose the next steps that will be taking place. Also, do not forget to collect any material items that belong to the company. 

And be sure to close the conversation leaving the individual’s integrity intact. This closure is extremely important. You always want to end with wishing this person the best.

Want more? Check out Michelle's entire series below...


  • Step One: Understanding the Importance of Staffing
  • Step Two: Identifying the Need
  • Step Three: Crafting the Position Description
  • Step Four: The Interview Process
  • Step Five: Hiring & Follow-up
  • Step Six: Onboarding

Staff Development

  • Key One: Training Needs
  • Key Two: Mentoring
  • Key Three: Individual Feedback
  • Key Four: Group Feedback
  • Key Five: Positive Working Environment
  • Key Six: Modeling Integrity

Additional PM resources:

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