Knowing when to let it go…

Knowing when to let it go…

January 9, 2019

Sometimes I have to tell my clients to Let It Go. It may sound like a Frozen theme tune, but from time to time we all need to listen to those words.

We all need to know when to Let It Go.

Let me explain.

As a Manager or Business Owner its very easy to feel that an under-performing team member is personally attacking you. Doing it deliberately to P*%$ you off.

Staff not taking care of your equipment is a slight on you and your generosity,demotivated and negative behaviour is a reflection on your management style. We’ve heard it all…

Frequently we have Managers and Owners on the phone who are seeking to punish their staff. They don’t say as much but you can tell that’s what they are looking to do.

Punishment may seem like a good idea but it definitely isn’t what we describe as “managing with good intention”.

Our job as HR Consultants is to understand what battles we pick and to remind you that the bigger picture is clearer to us than it will be to you on the frontline. We are lucky as our minds will not be cluttered by the relationships you have with your team.

Our role is to be the Field Marshall to your Captain.We are here to guide you to success and to tell you when you are about to get in your own way.

If a Manager or Owner wants to discipline a staff member we often seek to remind them of the reason why we have disciplinary procedures. Commonly they include:


  • To prevent future occurrence of the misconduct.
  • To improve future performance.


It shouldn’t be about “setting an example” which is a common reason I am given.

Ideally by formally warning someone about their conduct they will correct their behaviour and a future occurrence will be avoided.

Sometimes the Manager wants to pick a battle they just can’t win.

Sometimes with a demotivated team, the last thing you want to do is further divide people by singling out someone for disciplinary action. If the process is broke that led to the issue it will rarely be resolved by disciplining someone for their failure.

Losing good people because you are seen as a unfair boss is not a risk worth taking in today’s recruitment environment.

Another risk is the Manager who has decided the outcome they want before the matter has been investigated. Never be quick to discipline.

“Respond don’t react”

Take your time to understand what has happened and if possible why before determining whether formal action is an appropriate response. You will always be judged for running in too hard, too fast.

We recently reminded an Early Years’ employer that an anonymous allegation that a member of staff may have taken cannabis at the weekend should be treated as an anonymous allegation and investigated before we suspend and possibly tarnish this employee’s previously untarnished employment record.

We should recognise that if we want revenge that we have lost it as Managers and Business Owners.

There are battles to have and battles to leave. We would not recommend throwing a grenade where there isn’t a war.

If we can be of any assistance with your HR issues, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01527 909436

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