Transition Versus Termination
When a team member is not up to the job, it is better for everyone if they are able to transition rather than be terminated. If the organization has the resources to do so.
It’s always easier to look for a new role from an existing one. A transition allows the departing colleague the ability to find new work and to do so from a place of good standing. Leaders and teams benefit from good leavers who are incentivized to pass their work and institutional knowledge seamlessly to others so no balls are dropped.
Transitions make sense for everyone if they can be afforded by the team and earned by the departing colleague. In the best teams, those on the way out have a set of obligations to meet before they are allowed to transition. Chief among them is an attitude worthy of this accommodation.
Being told they are no longer in the future plans of a team is not an easy pill to swallow for anyone. Once past the confusion, self-defense, and disappointment, most colleagues will accept the reality and want to leave on a high note.
This does mean truly possessing an attitude of goodwill and assistance. Some simply may be unable to do this. In such cases, they can’t be afforded the opportunity to transition lest they burn the house down on the way out.
Setting a distinct timeline, assignments for passing work and information, and any special projects to complete during the transition is imperative. These colleagues are afforded the time they need to search for a new role but also must commit to the necessary focus to make the transition successful.
While transitions are not always plausible, possible, or in the cards, when the opportunity to transition rather than terminate a colleague presents itself, good leaders take it. Transitioning is a caring way to separate a colleague from their peers and work without avoiding the issue or accepting a poor reaction to the news.
A slower conversion to the end state allows everyone to move forward in a positive way. Sometimes a measured departure is superior to a quick ending. Only you can decide.