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The first thing I would do is to call for a meeting informing everybody about my presence and position in the said division. My employees must know my mandate, which is to deliver results, and what the goal of the company is, thus, inspiring and encouraging everyone to meet that goal. Having the awareness of the problem with the 52 year-old employee who is becoming my friend outside of work, I will then summon this lady for a one-on-one conversation and ask her about her contributions to the company. There are many things to consider when talking to her. One is that she’s been in this company for 20 years and nobody ever told her about her bad performance. Second, she has two kids in college, which should be taken into consideration if I am to fire her. Third is that she’s becoming my friend and I would feel guilty if I hurt her in any way. With all these things in my head, I will try to listen to her as intently as I can. After listening to her, I will show her the results of previous evaluations and tell her that she hasn’t been performing well according to the record. I will also remind her that we need to take care of our stakeholders in order to keep the company going. I have to emphasize that I don’t want her to lose her job. So in order for me to keep her in the company, she must perform according to our expectations. I will give her two months to let her show her competency for the position she is in. She has to contribute good results to the company. If she still would not perform well after such timeline, she has to go and find another job. Firing her would not give me any guilt feelings since I already gave her a chance. However, if she performs well, I will keep her and encourage her to keep doing well.
This decision is based on the P/PC balance or the balance between production and production capability (Covey, 1990). The principle of such balance lies in treating the employees in the same way as you would treat your clients, thus gaining their trust. According to Covey (1990), effectiveness is the balance where trust, communication and production come together. Since the shareholders of this company need stocks to make their future secured, I have to make my employee’s future secure as well give her a chance under my supervision to perform her best. I believe that by giving her a chance, she will try her best to deliver good results, knowing that her employment is at stake. In doing so, the stocks will get better again and the shareholders will be happier since their future will then be secured.