Decisive Firing

Edwin Chau

Head of Engineering, Global Financial Services at Brex



"One of the people who reported to one of my reports was an average performer. However, we needed to work out whether he was a net positive and whether he was bringing more to the table than he was taking away in terms of time from other people."

Actions taken

"We started out by putting him on a performance improvement plan. We wanted to be able to make a quick decision in terms of how confident we were that after the performance improvement plan he would be able to continue with sustained growth. While he made some good changes at first during the improvement plan, they leveled off. Because of this, it was clear we needed to let him go."

Lessons learned

"The biggest thing I have learned about firing is that it's important to find a balance between being hopeful and providing opportunities to help people succeed, and not letting underperformance drag out for too long. Make sure you have good supporting evidence, but when you realize you need to fire someone, be decisive about it."

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Edwin Chau

Head of Engineering, Global Financial Services at Brex

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationDecision MakingPerformance MetricsPerformance ReviewsFeedback TechniquesCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionIndividual Contributor RolesLeadership Roles

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