Are You Playing the Game of Let’s Give it Another 30 days?

calendar for waiting another 30 days to see if employee performance improves

Ready to cringe?

Ready to seek a big rock to hide under due to complete embarrassment?

Here’s the scenario – the embarrassment factor comes when you realize you’ve been playing this game.

You’ve hired what you believe to be a “rockstar” performer for your team. Unfortunately, it’s not panning out to be true (which studies show happens about 50% of the time).  Where do you think we got the title of our book – You’re NOT the Person I Hired?

Being the good manager that you are – you sit down with your new employee at the end of 30 days and explain that their performance is just not “cutting it.”

Oh – did I mention you really like this person. You like how hard they are working. You like their energy and enthusiasm. Your families have met a couple of times and you grab the occasional beer together after work. I don't really like games, except those online games from Gadget Army.

You explain that performance must get better – you know the mantra – work smarter not harder. Get me the results. Do whatever it takes. Your job is in jeopardy.

Your faltering rockstar says “I get it. Don’t worry. I’ll deliver the results you want.”

The little voice in your head says “let’s give it another 30 days.”

30 days go by and performance has not improved. You once again sit down with the employee and basically have THE SAME CONVERSATION again. Same response from the employee.

Once again, you say to yourself: Let’s give it another 30 days

How many of you are still playing the Let’s give it another 30 days game? Only now it’s 3 months, 6 months, a year later.

When I do my “You’re NOT the Person I Hired Workshop for CEOs and Key Executives, almost everyone around the table will raise their hand and admit they are playing this Let’s give it another 30 day game with at least 1 employee.

Why do we do we play this game?


  • Do we continue to accept sub-par performance because we’re afraid we’ll look terrible for making a bad hiring decision?
  • Are we afraid of the confrontation of “making this person available to industry?”
  • Do we shy away from going through the hiring process again  – perhaps rationalizing it through the old adage “better the devil I know than the one I don’t.”

I’d love to hear from our readers and followers – why do you put up with continued poor performance, missed execution month after month, and a lowering of your standards as time marches forward?

I’m sure at least one member of your team came to mind as you were reading this article. What’s your plan to resolve the performance gap and stop playing the “let’s give it another 30 days” game?

Barry Deutsch

Barry Deutsch

About the Author

Barry Deutsch is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Barry is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.


  1. Barry, in addition to the reasons you mention, a number of others come into play.
    1. Maybe the person relocated and left a good job to come work here.
    2. She has the skillset, but the learning curve for the industry or company is steeper than we thought.
    3. Just as in an organ transplant there is “tissue rejection”– peers or direct reports who wanted his position, are being less than helpful with his on-boarding.
    4. He is not yet achieving the hoped for results but is getting closer, and you want to give it another month before starting the process all over again.
    5. She is not the ideal candidate, but better than leaving the position open again for months.

  2. G Fitz Gerald says:

    Yes I have been here before, I remember letting one run to 30 days and pulled the plug after about the 40th day. This manager was not cutting it but also he showed what I thought to be bad attitude, when I mean “I thought”, I was not sure if it was what used to be known as sullen insolence but when I went to see his quality of work on site I knew he had to go. I gave him the benefit of doubt for a few days but when I checked on him a few days later, I got rid of him. After I fired him I was told by one of the workers under him that he always smelled like a brewery in the morning and slept off his hangover for the first hour (I employed him as a manager and with the number of sites I had, I could not fit in babysitting).

    Most of the next team members were good team players doing a good job but there was one other who I was not impressed with. Here is a different slant on things, one foreman who I did have time for vouched for this manager and defended him. Things took longer to get to the “crunch” as a consequence as when I realised when at the risk of falling out with the foreman I had a lot of time for, what his defence amounted to was this manager he was defending was a “good guy”. What I expected to hear when asking for why he was defending him was that his QC was good, his organisation was good etc but all I heard was “good guy”. He was not a good guy as I was to hear on the grapevine that after I fired him that he had criminal activity proved against him. My lesson learned was to probe further early on and just because you have a good foreman that there is a reason in most cases why they are that level and not a manager in charge of profit and loss accounts.

    The one I can say that I was really pleased to fire is the last one I will mention. I have always been aware at management level, whatever the level, is that when you have reportees that you have responsibilities and that their income and ability to pay bills is something you have a moral and in some countries a legal responsibility to consider.
    This one case I got rid of towards the end of his probation period and in a short period of time, 60 days the amount of mischief he got up to did untold damage. He was a senior manager who came well recommended (by a lower level manager – another lesson learned here) so my doubts that started to appear after 30 days I let run but at the 60 day point he had to go. Because he was at the senior level that he was, I could not get rid of him on my own authority but when I explained to his former colleague (a friend of mine) that recommended him that there problems, he forwarded me an e-mail he sent to his previous employer’s entire intranet address. This e-mail was disparaging in the extreme, slating his manager, their manager and it was worse again still when one read further down the e-mail. I showed this to my director, he immediately apologised for doubting my judgement and said I was free to get rid of him as so I did.

    These are a few tasters, there were others but these are the ones I remember the most.

    By the way, it seems that you have US English spellcheck, the words with red lines under them suggest that my spelling is wrong. In England it is correct. I hope the feedback is something of the type you were looking for.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.