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Should He Stay or Should He Go? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, September 26, 2008 4:01 PM
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Provided you can prove ownership, post an ad on Craigslist, the worlds largest fencing operation, seeking that item and see what you get. Once you connect, turn it over to the authorities (school or police) and your problem may be solved.
Post #577205
Posted Friday, September 26, 2008 4:58 PM
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I am lacking one vital piece of information in Eric's story. Does he apply himself to his work? It is already stated that he is OK at what he does, and implied to be useless at everything else. That's OK; I.T is such a specialised field that many people are consigned to the one job anyway. The salary he's on is Managements fault. Always start low with the promise of performance based promotion. The problem as I see it is the effect on the other staff member's morale. The situation has all the classic ingredients of a problematic employee...a flounce who has a financial safety net from Mummy and Daddy, who gets paid a fortune for performing a trivial role(Managements fault), and on top of it big notes himself all over town. Would I fire him? If he doesn't apply himself to his work, go through the motions guilt free to get rid of him. If he does apply himslef, put him through a program of personal development. In the meantime, just hope he doesn't cause good people to leave the company.

:) What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know, it's what we know for sure that just ain't so....Mark Twain
Post #577217
Posted Monday, September 29, 2008 9:18 AM
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It would be wrong to fire him. The article puts across that he does a fine job at what he does. There's no mention of him being a extremely hard to get along with guy, he isn't destroying all relationships in sight. He just asks dumb questions, and maybe doesn't have what it takes to be a manager, but who cares. If he's doing the job he needs to be doing, and will do the things he doesn't like to do if you tell him he has to, then he's fine for the position.

To expect him to be perfect and never ask a dumb question, and like everything he has to do is crazy.
Firing should be for incompetent people or 'nasty' people (who crap on other people).

I sure wouldn't want a manager that would fire me for asking dumb questions,
I wouldn't last long.

And not everybody needs to be management material to be a good employee.
Post #577791
Posted Monday, September 29, 2008 9:35 AM
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Regarding "management track", I personally don't want to be a manager of more than a small group and might not take a position where I was expected to move into a larger management role later. Not everyone, as has been pointed out, is cut out to be a manager. I think it's an unrealistic expectation to hire someone for a management track if they don't have previous successful experience as a manager, there's just no telling how they'll turn out. Hire them, get them through the probation period, then see if they have what it takes to be a manager: interpersonal skills, organization skills, the ability to do project planning and management, maybe budget management, etc. Not everyone can do that.

Me, I hate meetings and love working with equipment. The deeper you move into management, the further away from that you go. Sort of not calling the drill sergeant Sir: "I work for a living!" :D

Having said that, and working towards my weekly quota of arguing both sides of an issue, a person not moving into management can be a promotion bottleneck to others. Some organizations have a strict hierarchy: if you are only allowed X number of Analyst 3 positions, someone has to vacate an Analyst 3 position through promotion, transfer, or quitting, for an Analyst 2 to move up. So if an employee was expected to promote out of a position into a management position, they could be holding back their co-workers.
Post #577800
Posted Monday, September 29, 2008 9:44 AM
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Another thought:

maybe he asks the dumb questions instead of looking up the answer because he'd rather talk to a human being sometimes than look up the answer on a machine.

I think the manager should use the opportunity to answer the really easy question as an opportunity to interact.
Post #577809
Posted Monday, September 29, 2008 10:15 AM
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I think it's not so much that he asked dumb questions, but that he is getting paid a lot more money for his level than co-workers who work more independently, and are there for the meetings, etc. So even though he gets his work done, there is resentment among the co-workers, which can be bad for morale.

If his salary matched his abilities, there probably wouldn't be a problem, but Evelyn was desperate, and hired him at too high a salary, and then didn't manage expectations for his work ethic, etc. So I go along with a lot of what has been previously stated: Give him a review with specific points on what needs to be improved in a specfic time frame, and then follow through. Make it clear that Eric is responsible for his future at the company. if he doesn't want to do it, he can move on, or be assisted in moving on.
Post #577841
Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 12:49 AM
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Why wasn't there an option to help him find another role that he is better suited to?

I've managed poor performers before, if the performance is lacking because of attitude not skill, then performance management plans can be effective in telling the person to pick their game up, if they don't, then firing for this reason is acceptable.

However, if they are not suited to the role, and the blame for this sits squarely on the Employers shoulders for failing to properly assess the candidate, then the Employer should take responsibility for their stuff up in hiring this person in the first place, and look to help the person into a role more suitable, even if this is at another company. I've inherited two poor performers that I did this for. They shouldn't have been hired in the first place. Now, because the hiring manager made a bad judgement call should we be firing these people and throwing them out on the street without an income? No, treat people like they are people first and foremost (they had families and financial responsibilities that come with it), recognise where the fault occurred, and move to rectify the cause. This is leadership.

Firing someone in the example given is a cowardly/weak manager's way of doing things.
Post #1484999
Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 2:42 AM


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I enjoyed this repost just for the reminder of Phil's excellent post The Septic Tank on the first page of the comments. Quite brilliant, I really must trawl through some of his old posts again.
Post #1485031
Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 2:57 AM


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Well, I'm relieved to say that, now I've reread the thread, I still stand by my original comments.

However, there is one point I didn't make then that perhaps I should have. Some time ago, I heard tell of an employee who wasn't providing the results, and a manager who spent a good couple of years trying all sorts of different tacks to try to change things. In this case, it ended in the manager laying cards on the table, saying he had tried everything he could, and that he now had no choice but to let the employee know. The employee's reaction was one of shock because he felt he was doing his utmost to hit the targets set in the improvement plans, reviews and so on. Moreover he was utterly angry and rightly said that if they'd had this conversation a lot earlier, he wouldn't have wasted a couple of years of his employment life mistakenly chasing something he wasn't suited for.

In short, we have to remember that terminating someone's employment - if it's appropriate - isn't always viewed badly by the departing person. As managers, we should do our best to make the best choice for all concerned, and assumptions often cloud that.


Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
Post #1485038
Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 9:21 AM


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After reading the entire article, I'm left with the impression that this guy is smart enough and can be personable when he tries, but he sounds like a "Millennial" or "Generation Y" type who was hired because he possessed (or claimed to possess) some in demand IT skill but is still wet behind the ears. He's like raw iron that needs to be held to the fire and beaten into a useful tool.

The problem is that his manager indulges him too much. My advice would be to give him a performance review (or just a sit down talk), explain that he's not performing up to par, and then spell out expectations and boundaries for his job description. Afterward, throw him into a high profile project where other managers will have a chance to evaluate him as well. Let him either sink (supplying a pretext for firing him), or he can swim and grow up in the process.
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