Does your company demote or dismiss leaders who can’t lead?

My company has a strong hire from within policy. Almost without exception, everyone in a “leader of people” role was promoted into that role from a previous one.

This year especially, we saw a lot of team leaders and managers cease to hold their titles. Most were moved from leadership to the “Staff” level of their track (from SW Eng Manager to Staff SW ENG). I’m not privy to the exact numbers, but I’d assume they wouldn’t take a pay cut in that transition – and I know in at least a few cases, it was an involuntary move due to poor leadership reviews. It seems that the company tried to keep them and move them back into individual contribution than terminate them for not being good leaders. Very few titled leaders depart the company (other than into retirement) as titled leaders.

Several friends work for companies who would rather just cut ties entirely with a poor leader than find them a different role within the company. If a manager doesn’t meet their standards, they’re released without prejudice.

Those of you who work in professional jobs – how does your company handle managers who were promoted too quickly, got in over their heads, or just couldn’t keep up?



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