When do you give up on a resource in the PM team?

When do you let an employee go considering reasons are performance only.

This is a hypothetical question. I’m interested in knowing why /when do managers decide to stop investing in an employee. And how they go about it.


If they are worth saving work with them to understand where their gaps are help them to overcome those gaps. If you document this you can help them grow, if they disregard your guidance than you have documentation which will assist in getting rid of them.


If you were involved in hiring that person, ask yourself why you hired them and if there is anything else, you can do that could help them perform better


I’ve seen this happen quite a bit when a company switches gears. The extraordinary performer during seed stage might not grow as the company heads into series B. As an organization matures, management should make sure that people are in the position where they can perform their best.

Giving up just sounds like you have not looked hard enough at why the performance has dropped, hinting at management failure. I might be a stickler for semantics, but you are trying to paint yourself as a benevolent manager. If you are dealing with an asshole, fire them, and then reflect on how the guy got hired in the place.


I mean, what have you done as the person’s manager? Have you clearly identified their areas for improvement and communicated that to them over the past 1-2 quarters? Failing that, have you worked with HR to come up with a formalized PIP to reduce legal risk? Have you walked your report through the PIP, making sure they understand it, and committed to supporting them through it?

If you haven’t done these things, that’s your failure as a leader, not your employee’s failure. If you have done these things, the answer is straightforward: you abide by the objective criteria established in the PIP.


It depends If someone is trying then I’ll support them as much as I can with training, 1:1 time, etc. If we get to a point where they still can’t perform then I’d explore what options are available within the business, usually in these situations the person is a good person just in the wrong role.

If the person doesn’t give a fig then I’ll still do what I can to support them as there may be underlying reasons why they are coming into work. But if nothing can be done then they will be managed out.


I lead a lot of transformations where legacy applications are going to be replaced. There is almost always at least one person who cannot let go of the legacy app because they are too close to it or are afraid of learning the new app/not being able to learn. I have a ton of approaches that I use to bring people along with the change and address this issue, but sometimes people will actively obstruct. I find that most other performance issues I’ve encountered can be worked through.


Learning this threshold has been insanely difficult for me, no matter how long I’ve been at it.

Aside from other things that have already been posted here, my number one factor has become “does this employee’s performance/attitude/personality/etc affect the TEAM?”.

Employees talk. Teams talk. People know when a team member is performing, is a rock star, is dropping the ball, is an asshole, has a negative attitude, whatever. The worst of those things will have an impact on your team, and if you don’t do anything about it, team morale and eventually performance will slowly degrade. I’m not a fan of analogies since context always matters - but the ‘rotten apple’ analogy really applies here.

If the team is affected, and you should always have a pulse on the team, then it’s important to act immediately. Exiting an employee is always the last option for me. Depending on the severity and type of issue, I’ve tried to retrain underperforming individuals on other teams more suited to their skills, or with better matching personalities, etc.

That’s also why I have instilled a “probation” period in my hiring & onboarding processes, I have a 90 day period during which underperformance or “team rejection” means the employee is out. It’s a tool that helps takes the emotion out of the decision.


Depends on the situation. Are they not learning, growing, progressing at all? Are the gaps due to different styles or are they true gaps- is work getting done? How is their attitude? Do they think they’re the shit and don’t need to learn anything, or are they working their butt off? Are they just not going to get to the level you need?

Before a PIP I’d have a tough meeting with them, and ask them what they would do in your place. Is retraining an option?

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A very extreme situation to be in. A simple rule to follow is to understand Will vs Skill. If a person is not skillful enough but has the willingness to learn and perform, then the onus is on the manager.

If the person’s will or attitude is missing, then it is better to part ways. Because irrespective of how hard you try, if there is no will there is no way

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