Workers who won't leave: Be firm with 'inherited' problems
In some organizations, incompetent employees are shuffled from department to department while managers hope they either improve by magic, or “get the hint” and leave.
In some organizations, incompetent employees are shuffled from department to department while managers hope they either improve by magic, or “get the hint” and leave. This may seem easier than terminating the employee, but the practice doesn’t help anyone.
If you’ve “inherited” an employee whose performance leaves a lot to be desired, try these tactics for resolving the problem:
• Document performance thoroughly. Keep a log of the employee’s performance (and lack of performance). This will help you pinpoint problems and protect you if you are the manager who finally terminates the employee.
• Keep communication lines open. Don’t ignore or freeze out the employee. Discuss the person’s performance, motivation, and career goals honestly. You may discover the secret to turning him or her around.
• Experiment with different roles. Try placing the employee in a new job. Maybe you’ll both find that the right responsibilities make a difference in his or her attitude and performance.
• Watch your own attitude. Don’t gripe about the employee to the rest of your staff. Even if it never gets back to the person, your image as a manager will suffer if others hear you complaining instead of taking action.
• Help the employee leave. Don’t dump him or her into another department, but explore other career options and offer some advice on finding a job that suits the person better. Be careful—you don’t want to set up a can’t-win situation for the employee, which could lead to a lawsuit. But be clear on what you expect, and help the employee be open to other options.
—Adapted from the U.S. News/Money website
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