The coverage of Van Gaal potentially being removed before the end of his contract at Man U raises a point, that we think goes on in businesses a fair bit...getting rid of someone because you have decided their performance isn’t quite coming up to scratch, but without actually giving them that feedback and the opportunity and support to do something about it.
For starters, it is grossly unfair to manage someone out of the business without addressing the issues with them.
But there is also the possibility of a knock on effect to the wider team...people aren’t stupid...they know when someone is being treated unfairly and will see straight through a situation where a member of staff is eased out with some spurious justification.
Interestingly, it often happens to those who are referred to as good /nice people. Somehow it seems to be harder for managers to give constructive feedback to the “good bloke” or “nice guy” on their team...and so they don’t.
The danger is that other good performers will look at what is going on and start to lose trust in management decisions...and once trust starts to disappear, it is doubly hard to win it back. You may even end up with other great team members walking away as a result.
There is probably some real unease in the Man U camp at the moment, as players wonder what is going on as Van Gaal is ousted such a short time into his contract and with seemingly no scope to pull things round.
It is really vital for managers to challenge themselves about whether they have been fair in managing someone’s performance - it is likely to affect not only their own reputation but that of the organisation as well.
Stella Chandler and I founded Focal Point on a shared belief that a training course run in isolation doesn't work. We passionately believe there must be support both before and after the training or coaching session itself for it to make a difference. When I am not facilitating sessions with clients or looking at ways to grow the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...