Marylou had complained about Johnetta for some time. “She’s not dependable. She doesn’t meet deadlines,” Marylou had said. “We’re thinking about letting her go.”
Then this past week everything changed. “It appears we misjudged her. Now we see that she may be a real ace in certain phases of the design work.”
So what happened, I asked.
Marylou had to assign Johnetta to the Acme project. Marylou knew trouble would pop up, so she decided to work closely with Johnetta.
What Marylou identified is that Johnetta doesn’t know how to manage her time, so she runs out of time to work on the project and misses deadlines. And the company loses money on projects Johnetta works on.
What Marylou did was give Johnetta a framework to understand what the project is and how much time she can spend on different tasks.
Some folks will take an assignment and just run with it. Others need to be able to see how the assignment fits into the overall project. Without that framework, they have no sense of urgency or timeliness.
Be sure you’re not about to cut someone who really has potential that you can’t see yet.
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