Boss Lady

3 reasons you should give someone a second chance


Firing a staff member is a huge decision and effort for a company and even harder as a business owner. A major part of being an entrepreneur is staffing your business and sometimes you may regret hiring a particular employee. However, firing the staff member shouldn’t be your default position on staffing issues. Why not give them a second chance.

Often there are extenuating circumstances for their poor performance and why they may not be meeting your expectations. Try to remember the reasons you hired them in the first place, before you consider firing them.

The sentiment that ‘everyone deserves a second chance’ is one I wholeheartedly agree with. Because of this I’ve compiled a list of three reasons why you should give an employee a second chance:

1. Second chance means using mistakes as learning opportunities

Throughout our careers we all make mistakes, some bigger than others. Teaching this faltering staff member that they can learn from their mistakes is crucial. Making mistakes create opportunities to learn.

Identifying this, as opposed to being quick to fire, is important in running a business. A major part of the joy that I get out of my role is teaching and helping my staff improve as well as seeing their personal development on a daily basis.

A formative thing that we can do for any employee is provide them with the opportunity to fail. Here they are able to learn and subsequently you can begin to give them more responsibility. Instead of firing the staff member, use this opportunity to help them to grow.

2. Consider their full employment history for a second chance

When making the decision to fire someone the decision should never be made too hastily – the well-known Hollywood film “you’re fired” line isn’t realistic. Choices such as these not only impact upon your everyday trading, as you have to find a new staff member, but also your overall work culture, therefore staffing decisions have to be very carefully considered.

I always like to evaluate people’s full employment history when I’m considering firing them. If a staff member has been underperforming there is often a reason, so book in time and have a meeting with them to discuss the issue. Here, you should be able to examine what is going on in their personal and professional life and what needs to be changed on both ends so that they can perform at their best.

3. Second chance is giving them the opportunity to improve

In some cases staff are unaware that their behaviour or work is a problem until it is pointed out to them. To make sure that my staff are across any issues that I am having in their performance I schedule monthly catch ups with each of my staff members to ensure that we are both on the same page in terms of their conduct. Here, I can raise any issues I have and subsequently can avoid firing them.

However, I believe that, as a business owner, you must set a reasonable time period for improvement. That way neither you, nor the staff member is wasting their time.  That includes developing a program to encourage and signpost the way and methods for that person’s performance progress. The program – let’s call it a ‘performance improvement program’ (or PIP) rather than the more perjorative ‘performance management program’ – should be outlined with the staff member, and have their buy-in.   That way neither you nor the staff member is wasting their time.

Ultimately, firing a staff member is a hard decision and should be the last option as a business owner, as opposed to your first.

About Sharon Zeev Poole

Sharon Zeev Poole, Agency Director of Agent99 Public Relations: Sharon Zeev Poole, the Director of highly regarded boutique agency Agent99 Public Relations, has grown the agency from a one-man show to a full service, award-winning PR agency located in the thriving creative hub of Surry Hills, Sydney. The agency specialises in launching or relaunching brands in the food, beverage and travel spaces, as well as working with corporates and individuals to raise their profile in the B2B space. Sharon has worked all over the world on high profile brands such as Warner Bros. Pictures and Starbucks Coffee. Today, the agency has an enviable list of lifestyle, consumer and corporate clients including William Grant & Sons (Glenfiddich, Hendrick’s Gin, Monkey Shoulder), Buderim Ginger, Hunter Valley Gardens and many more. An agency built on strong strategic and creative credentials, Agent99 is in constant pursuit of the unconventional, routinely implementing bold brand campaigns that capture national attention in unexpected ways. Agent99 has been recognised for its work, earning itself several award nominations including Finalist in the 2017 Mumbrella Commson Awards for Launch or Relaunch Campaign of the Year for their work on the Buderim Ginger ‘Ginger Pride Rally’, Finalist standings in the 2015 Mumbrella Commson Awards (Boutique PR Agency of the Year and Launch or Relaunch Campaign of the Year) and PRIA’s Medium PR Agency of the Year and Consumer Marketing Campaign of the Year, which was also Commended nationally. With a strong philosophy on giving back, Sharon often guest lectures to Marketing (Masters) and MBA students at the University of New South Wales, as a means of informing and encouraging students who are hoping to break into the industry.


    1. Pingback: 4 Leadership Lessons From Negan, the Latest Villain on 'The Walking Dead' - WXXV 25

    2. Pingback: 4 Leadership Lessons From Negan, the Latest Villain on &#039… | FINANCE TACTICAL

    3. Pingback: 4 Leadership Lessons From Negan, the Latest Villain on 'The Walking Dead' - The Enterprise Academy

    What Do You Think?

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *