Facing Up to Firing: No One Gains When People Give Less Then Their Best
By Paul Feeney Managing Director, Sanford Rose Associates - Wayne | October 2008
Some employee acts are so offensive that immediate response is in order. Your employee handbook enumerates them: theft, fraud, insubordination, sexual harassment, etc.
Others fail to rise to that level of concern, yet, like small cancers left untreated, begin to poison the organization. Those latter acts may be committed by otherwise likeable employees and, in fact, may be difficult to pinpoint. (Did Mary really mean to do that?) Yet you know, and the employee knows, that mischief has taken place.
Worse yet, the entire organization knows and is watching to see how you deal with the issue. Most employees want to feel good about themselves, their jobs and their place of employment. Bad actors disrupt that vibe and cause a sense of unease. Their peers are hoping that you will take corrective action and will be in your corner when you do. However, if the offender gets away with his or her transgression, then others may begin to root for the offender.
Not all of the following characters appear in any given workplace, but chances are that any sizeable organization has at least one or two:
This individual has an endless list of reasons why something can't be done; e.g., it's been tried before and didn't work, customers aren't ready for this big a change, we don't have the necessary resources or time, we lack the information we need, etc. People who are hostile to new ideas or change often have a high sense of insecurity about their own abilities and would rather hide in the status quo than be exposed by taking risks. Of course, basking in the status quo means eating the dust created by competitors as they gallop ahead.