Who's that Girl?


Doing The Right Thing, Just A Little Too Late.

Originally posted: September 10, 2009 on TrishMcFarlane.com

I planned to write another post today, but I saw a story that keeps popping into my mind.

There was a story on MSNBC about a couple that decided to get married at their seven year old son’s funeral.  It is a tragic story out of Buffalo, NY of a little boy who was killed in an auto accident.  His wish all his life had been for his parents to marry.  So, they decided to go through with it (as a surprise) at his funeral.  Now, the point of my post is not to pass judgment on these parents either way.  What struck me about this story is, weren’t they doing too little, too late?

We’re all guilty of this at one time or another.  With our family, our friends, our career.  From a  HR stand point, there are numerous examples of this every day.  Do any of these scenerios ring true for you?

  • HR continuously encourages supervisors and managers to give feedback- we give them the tools, the coaching, examples they can use, and role playing and they still put it off.  They wait until it’s too late, when they are holding the resignation letter of a team member, to tell the employee how valuable they are.  It’s often too little, too late.
  • What about the team members who want training?  The manager does not send them because there isn’t enough time, enough money, or they don’t see the benefits the training will bring to the company.  Then, the employee leaves because they don’t feel that their development is valuable.  The manager scrambles and offers them training opportunities, but it’s too little, too late.
  • You’re a recruiter working with a hiring manager.  You find an outstanding candidate from a cold call or a good referral.  The interviews go well and it’s almost a unanimous recommendation to hire.  The hiring manager hems and haws over the role, the money, etc.  The candidate takes another offer.  Now the hiring manager is kicking himself (and you as the recruiter) for not moving fast enough.  It’s too little, too late.
  • The employee comes to Mr. Supervisor to ask for a raise.  The employee understands that times are tough, but they have a good, solid case as to why they deserve the increase.  Mr. Supervisor has a million and one reasons why he can’t (or won’t) give the increase.  A month later, the employee has an offer in hand from a competitor.  Now the supervisor is scrambling to counter.  It’s too little, too late.

There are so many missed opportunities because we fail to act and do what we know is “right” or would be “best”.  Why?  Maybe because we fear having to go to bat for an employee, or because we don’t want to cash in our chips for that particular person, or because of our own fear or insecurity.  Don’t let opportunities go by.  When you do, you may not be able to recover.  It may be too little, too late.

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