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When to terminate?

By matt_falenski ·
We have an employee that _just_ meets requirements. His attendance is marginal. He does only what is asked, but nothing more. When he is not on a call, he sits in his office with the light off either d/l music or playing games. When he does work on a PC, it is usually sloppily done, and sometimes incomplete.
About two months ago he rebuilt a PC, and did not include a vital e-mail account in addition to the primary users e-mail, and we have lost at least two students due to this. It was not entirely his fault because the user did not mention it, but I feel that not getting even one student is a very serious matter. I think it is time to let him go, any thoughts on the matter? Thank You!

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When to terminate?

by timwalsh In reply to When to terminate?

Matt, has this employee been counseled that his performance is sub par? Has he been given specific performance goals to meet?

Depending on what country you are in, there may be specific labor laws and labor "best practices" that need to be followed when terminating an employee.

In the US, "best practices" normally state that you should follow the process of notification (these are the things you are doing wrong or aren't doing at all), and counseling (this is what you need to do to improve your performance to an acceptable level), with a specific timeline (you need to improve to this level within the next week/month/whatever), and specific consequences (otherwise you will be fired), with documentation to back up everything you have told the employee. This is generally what is required to prevent a disgruntled ex-employee from successfully filing suit that he was fired on the grounds of descrimination (I was fired because I'm black/female/young/old/ speak with an accent/dress funny/whatever).

Can you successfully fire someone wothout all this stuff? Sure! But by taking this route (especially the documentation), you cover yourself legally and create some institutional knowledge should this guy ever reapply for a job there or your company gets asked for a reference when he applies elswhere.

Good luck.

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When to terminate?

by matt_falenski In reply to When to terminate?
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When to terminate?

by D. Brinson In reply to When to terminate?

Do you have cause to fire him? Do you have stated or written policies that he is violating? Is he violating the attendance policy? Does your company have an internet usage policy against downloading music? Playing games? Or is this permissible at your company? If it is allowed he may feel he is doing nothing wrong.

You say he is doing sloppy work? Has he ever been told what the standards are and that he is not meeting them? If he is doing sloppy work, make him do it over until it is right. Because of work he did, you lost a student - but according to you it was at least partially because he was not given all the information he needed. Was that really his fault?

It sounds like he is a very so-so employee, but as much as we would all like to manage nothing but super-stars that doesn't happen. You have probably already invested a lot of time and effort (which translates into money) into training this employee. Can this employee be turned into a contributing member of your organization? It may be cheaper and easier to try to counsel him than to terminate him only to end up with another employee that is even worse.

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When to terminate?

by matt_falenski In reply to When to terminate?
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When to terminate?

by dlw6 In reply to When to terminate?

It sounds like he is not *barely* meeting requirements, it sounds like he is *not* meeting requirements. On the other hand, the example you cite with the e-mail account is not a very good examle of the employee failing to meet a published standard.

If you have published requirements, and he was told of them, and he failed to meet them, and you brought this to his attention and gave him time to improve, and he still failed to meet them, then you have cause to terminate. Until then, you merely have a management challenge.

It surprises me that your help desk has so little work to do that the techs can sleep in their offices when not on a call. Have you considered eliminating his position, or finding some additional projects for him to do? He may be bored because he doesn't have enough to do (not likely, but possible). Consider assigning some in-house work to the techs, to keep them busy when they're not on calls and add value to the organization. Otherwise, the CIO might wander in, see him with the lights off, and decide you can do with fewer people. If you implement such a system, then catch him not working on the in-house project when he's not on a call, that's another counseling to add to the "termination" stack.

Good fortune,
Don

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When to terminate?

by matt_falenski In reply to When to terminate?

Thanks. We did eliminate this position. We had 3 techs and now we have just two. These two are now complaining of "how much more" they have to do. They have probably picked up 2-3 additional calls a day.

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When to terminate?

by Captain Krunch In reply to When to terminate?

Counsel this person. Show him/her that this is unacceptable behavior/performance and will not be tolerated. You should have an Associate Handbook explaining corporate policies that you can reference. Give them a specific timeline for improvement, usually 30 to 90 days. Explain what the consequences will be if he/she does not improve. Document this discussion, make a written record of it, have the associate sign it, make three copies, one for the associate, one for your records and one for HR. Then if the person fails to improve their performance you can terminate them. You may have to address the sloppy workmanship and downloading/ playing games as separate issues, since it sounds as if you have addressed neither. The more documentation, the more HR’s comfort level will be with termination, but all the documentation in the world will not help if the person feels that they were wrongfully terminated and decides to sue. I guess Tim hasn’t been there, done that, like I have.Then your documentation assists in the corporate defense. Insubordination is about the only time that you are allowed to terminate immediately even then you better have plenty to back you up. You do have a company policy pertaining to theft, do you not? Downloading music and playing games is stealing from the company, stealing time and resources.

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When to terminate?

by matt_falenski In reply to When to terminate?
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When to terminate?

by matt_falenski In reply to When to terminate?

He lost anothers users data. This one just so happened to be a VP.
He is no longer with us, so I guess he answered the question for me.

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When to terminate?

by matt_falenski In reply to When to terminate?

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