Friday, September 17, 2010

Dealing with problem employees

What do you do when you have an employee who isn't really cut out for the role they are employed in.  How long do you put up with them?  How much time and effort do you put in trying to salvage a bad hire?

I recommend applying the following checklist to the problem employee.  Using this simple guide you can decide if a salvage operation is worth the effort or if you may be better off cutting ties and letting the person sail away into a =nother role that is better suited for them.
  1. Can the person change?  So they're being a pain in the butt.  They aren't listening and carry on regardless.  The question is - can they change?  Is there a chance that with some coaching and help that the person can change? 
    If you think they can change then start working with them and enable them to change their view of the role and their place on the team.  If not - let them go.
  2. Will the person change?  Does the person want to change and will the person change?  How much time and resources do you sink into a person before you realise that it just isn't happening with that person.
    If you think trhe person will change with the right motivating factors and environmental factors - excellent.  If not - let them go.
  3. When will the person change?  Following on from the first two questions if you decide that the person a) can change, b) will change - it's time to start wondering about c) when the person might change.  How vital is that change and what are the timelines you have to work with?
    If you think the person can chnage their attitude and approach in a short amount of time and provide benefits and increase productivity - then great.  If not - let them go.
This is where the old 80/20 rule comes into play.  Is the employee an 80% employee or a 20% employee?Ask yourself honestly - how much time am I spending on this employee?  Both directly and indirectly.

If a problem employee or problem team take up 80% of your time - then you may have to consider letting them go.

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