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Donald Trump, our favorite “terminator,” is on this week’s cover of Business Week, highlighting the lead story, “Fear of Firing.” It’s all about how hard, and financially perilous, it is to fire an underperforming, or even worse, virtually useless employee. The point of the article is that, increasingly, employers, admonished by their HR and legal teams, are reticent to deal with real performance issues for fear of litigation. Unfortunately, more often than not, the root of the issue is that managers fail to properly document performance matters and shy away from discussions with subordinates regarding their poor performance, or conducting documented evaluation sessions with them. The result is problem employees gain the upper hand, especially if he or she is among the growing lineup of individuals in “protected” categories. The lesson here for managers is that an ounce of prevention is worth twice the litigious cure.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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