Managing Without Regrets: An HR Perspective

By Marc Muchnick

When it comes to regrets, the managerial ranks are a breeding ground. Managers in every organization at one time or another will do things they wish they hadn’t done or fail to do things they wish they had done. Common examples of situations that may result in regret for managers include bad hiring decisions, failure to properly use the progressive discipline process, holding on to poor performers too long, not having enough promotable team members in the pipeline, and losing good people to the competition. These scenarios also have a direct impact on the workload and frustration of the organization’s HR staff, who time and time again may find themselves asking the following questions:

• Why do we keep hiring the wrong people?
• Why didn’t we document the performance issues?
• Why do we hold on to C players when we should be upgrading our talent?
• Why don’t we have a strong enough bench of candidates to fill the open positions?
• Why don’t we do a better job of attracting and retaining top talent?

The answers, of course, are not so cut and dry. But from an HR perspective, it is critical that an open dialogue and subsequent educational effort be initiated with organizational managers around how to avoid these patterns of regret going forward. Whether it is recruiting, hiring, onboarding, developing, coaching, succession planning, promoting, or disciplining, managing without regrets is possible – but only once there is a shared awareness of what is at the root of the problems as well as what preventative actions need to be taken.

Here are a few “regret elimination” tips that HR professionals can provide to managers:

1. Wait for the right person – it’s better to be shorthanded in the near term than to hire the wrong person for the long term.

2. Cut the cord – be decisive about moving under-performers out and bringing top performers in.

3. Proactively build your bench – start developing and recruiting before the need arises so you are ready when it does.


  1. Derek Morgan says:

    Hi Marc,

    Congratulations on a what is a great book. You are bound to have a positive impact on anyone who takes the time to read ‘No More Regrets’, and as a result of this book you have made a positive contribution to the lives of individuals such as myself, and the global community in general.

    Best wishes,
    Derek Morgan

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Derek, glad No More Regrets! had a positive impact on you.

  3. Irish says:

    I have read the book and it has helped me in certain aspects of my life. I was about to give up..Thanks to NO MORE REGRETS! Thanks to you..I certainly will apply all those what I have read..
    The part that I was able to relate is “Stop doing what isn’t working and start doing what works.”

    Thank you…

  4. admin says:

    Glad to hear you are moving in the right direction. What is the part that “started working”?

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