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bagseed grow

My recent posts covered how to make the best hiring decisions (Combatting Employee Turnover Before You Hire and The Importance of Background Checks). But what happens when you do all the right things, and you still wind up with a bad apple?

A few more words to wise: Keep it all business, and avoid the personal feelings that sneak in. I understand the desire to be nice when terminating someone. Many of my clients want to help ease the employee into unemployment by giving a longer period of notice, so the terminated employee can “work” and look for a job at the same time. While there are times when that is appropriate, don’t lose sight of how you got here in the first place. Also, keeping someone around who isn’t going to stick around is awkward; it can leave the rest of the team feeling uncomfortable, and in the end, you don’t get any “real” work from the exiting employee. You get short-timer’s disease and a disgruntled team.

Now the fun part: Who gets to deliver the message? Let HR handle it! Seriously, that’s what we are paid for. All terminations should be witnessed by another manager, preferably the employee’s supervisor or hiring manager. The message should be direct and to the point. Write up talking points and rehearse; ad libbing can get you into trouble. Nothing you can say or do will change the fact they lost their job and their livelihood. Remain professional, thank them for their service and wish them the very best in their future endeavors.

Allow me to bring you into a typical situation: An employee is not working at an expected level or is just not a good fit. You have several conversations with the employee, trying to make things work. It’s been a few months, and it’s not getting better — in fact, you think it’s getting worse. But you feel conflicted, because it’s a key position and the person is working on a project that needs to be completed. You have put the decision off for so long now, that the employee is dealing with a death in the family, a pregnancy, or a health issue. Now we really have a problem! To make it worse, through all the time, effort and energy involved in trying to coach and counsel this employee, no one bothered to document the conversations or even recap them in a simple e-mail to the employee. Now what?

I am not a big fan of putting someone on a performance-improvement plan (PIP) just for documentation purposes. However, if you see potential value in the employee, and you think a well-written, milestone-driven, achievable PIP may work, then go for it. But if you are putting someone on a 90-day probation just so you can fire the guy when it’s over, why bother?

Poor seed results in poor crop vigor and poor crop establishment.

Seed rate needed (kg/ha) = (Desired seed rate (kg/ha) * 100)/Germination (%).


Is the seed poor?

Crop stands are poor if seed is poor. (Photo AF van Herwaarden)

NOTE: Do a germination test by counting out several lots of preferably 100 seeds taken from well inside the seed sacks keeping each seed lot separate. Dampen squares of paper or toweling and spread each group of seeds on a towel so the seeds are not touching each other. Cover them with a second damp paper towel. Roll up each sandwich of seeds and put in a plastic bag to prevent the towels from drying out. Keep the bags at room temperature. After 4-5 days count how many seeds have germinated in each lot. Percentage germination is the number of germinated seeds divided by the number of seeds in the sample * 100.

Lord give us understanding. Teach us that you have given us good seed. Show us where to plant it. There are many seeds in our life including natural, physical, mental and spiritual. Seeds are the productivity of life. There must be an investment to yield a return. We must be careful not to eat our seed. To be generous sowers that is the charge in the New Testament. Fear is a prime hindrance when it comes to the giving of our life to God’s Potential. Fear of loss, failure, rejection and the unknown are all excuses that keep us from trusting God.

Isaiah 28:24-26 (NLT) Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting? Does he not finally plant his seeds—black cumin, cumin, wheat, barley, and emmer wheat—each in its proper way, and each in its proper place? The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding.

God has given you good seed. He has called the foundation of your life blessed. You have all the resources to sow goodness and produce promises. You must now find the faith to do so. To trust the Lord of the Harvest. He will instruct you. He will guide you. His Spirit inside of you is the cultivator of life. An abundant life is a product of righteousness as God’s Word accomplishes exactly what it set out to do in you and for you. Do not regret seeds sown in barren fields? They are still subject to God’s Instruction and Purpose. He will always bless the giver who gives from a humble and broken heart. He is supplies seed to the sower not to the withholder. You cannot judge the harvest by the seed. It must be planted. The giver with a heart for God does so cheerfully with godly wisdom and spiritual discernment. Don’t give under pressure. Give in to His Presence. He will prosper you from the inside out. God is good. His Seed is Good. His Word is Truth. He is Lord of the Harvest.

The immediate reaction of the workers was to pull all the weeds before they overtook the crops. The farmer responds with wisdom instead instructing them to leave the weeds to grow with the crops instead. Have you ever given a large offering? Maybe you invested an uncomfortable sum of money in a venture? What is the immediate reaction of most people? Regret. Remorse. The enemy wants to rob us in our sowing by convincing us it is foolish. We must know before we sow. God will instruct us in every area that we seek His Wisdom even in our giving. God isn’t looking at what you toss in the offering plate. He is not evaluating your generosity to the poor. He is not judging you by the balance in your checking account. He doesn’t even care that you spent a couple hundred dollars on new shoes and a matching purse. The Lord looks past our appearance and examines our heart. The fertile soil that yields the best harvest comes from a broken and humble heart. The seed in our hand will be blessed according to the condition of our heart not the field it is otherwise sown.

For example, you may have a dead end job with an overbearing boss. Yet, each day before you leave for work, you pray for your employer and coworkers. You arrive early to work thanking God for the opportunity. You work as unto the Lord and not man giving your all even though you are completely overlooked and taken for granted. You give the Lord the first fruits. You tithe off your meager earnings. The job is not your provider but you have decided that God is your Source. His Word cannot and will not return to Him void. You will harvest a blessing – pressed down, shaken together and running over. It may not be that your boss has a heart change or the job becomes enjoyable or rewarding. The Lord of the Harvest will bless your faithfulness. He promises a harvest from your tears. (Psalm 126) God’s Eyes are always intent on our heart. We must become faithful farmers who gain wisdom and understanding from the Lord who do not move from field to field based on emotions or reactionary to the natural conditions of life. We must be people who respond to God’s Promises.