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Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 03:34 PM   #1
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Ever had to take part in a lynching?

O.K., so I'm on another business trip (Hawaii again-yes my life is rough), but this time I am being asked to be a hatchet man. Sometimes it's known as efficiency consultant, personell consultant, what have you. The person with my role at this office is having a real tough time fulfilling her duties. I won't go into details, nice lady and there is no need to bad mouth her, but she really is not competent for the job. Managment suspects that, but they want a closed door meeting with me to confirm. Nobody has said straight out, "So, should we fire her?", but I can see the writing on the wall. I find this unpleasant, but it really is the right decision to pull these duties away from her. They might find enough other work for her, but it's doubtful. I just can't stop thinking about her mortgage, etc. But at the same time, she is hurting the company. I don't think I'm cut out for management. Any advice? Anyone ever in on a termination decision? It would be easier if she was just caught surfing porn or something. She really tries, but she really fails, too. :P
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 03:40 PM   #2
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
O.K., so I'm on another business trip (Hawaii again-yes my life is rough), but this time I am being asked to be a hatchet man.* Sometimes it's known as efficiency consultant, personell consultant, what have you.* The person with my role at this office is having a real tough time fulfilling her duties.* I won't go into details, nice lady and there is no need to bad mouth her, but she really is not competent for the job.* Managment suspects that, but they want a closed door meeting with me to confirm.* Nobody has said straight out, "So, should we fire her?", but I can see the writing on the wall.* I find this unpleasant, but it really is the right decision to pull these duties away from her.* They might find enough other work for her, but it's doubtful.* I just can't stop thinking about her mortgage, etc.* But at the same time, she is hurting the company.* I don't think I'm cut out for management.* Any advice?* Anyone ever in on a termination decision?* It would be easier if she was just caught surfing porn or something.* She really tries, but she really fails, too.* :P
I never had any trouble terminating non-performers. I bet y'all
are shocked to hear that.

JG
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 03:43 PM   #3
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
O.K., so I'm on another business trip (Hawaii again-yes my life is rough), but this time I am being asked to be a hatchet man.* Sometimes it's known as efficiency consultant, personell consultant, what have you.* The person with my role at this office is having a real tough time fulfilling her duties.* I won't go into details, nice lady and there is no need to bad mouth her, but she really is not competent for the job.* Managment suspects that, but they want a closed door meeting with me to confirm.* Nobody has said straight out, "So, should we fire her?", but I can see the writing on the wall.* I find this unpleasant, but it really is the right decision to pull these duties away from her.* They might find enough other work for her, but it's doubtful.* I just can't stop thinking about her mortgage, etc.* But at the same time, she is hurting the company.* I don't think I'm cut out for management.* Any advice?* Anyone ever in on a termination decision?* It would be easier if she was just caught surfing porn or something.* She really tries, but she really fails, too.* :P
Laurence, if it is any consolation, when I have been canned in the past, it has always worked out for the better. It is disheartening to fail at your job all the time and it usually is a signal that you and the job are a bad match. I now it is trite, but often enough the person who gets whacked is being done a favor. They are being given a nudge to go find something better, an they usually do so.
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 03:47 PM   #4
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

I've been in on termination decisions before and they went like this.

Can the person do their job?
If yes, no problem.
IF no, can they be given more training or tools so they can do their job?
If yes, no problem.

If no, they're probably not right for the position they're in. *

Also, what is the impact to the company if they are not doing the job correctly?

Good luck. *It sounds like it is not your position to make the decision, just providing imput to help someone make the decision. * *There may be other factors involved that you are not aware of and if they were happy with the other person's work, there would be no need for a closed door disussion. *Just be honest.
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 03:49 PM   #5
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

I've had the unfortunate duty of "severing business relationships" with a number of employees and what you are experiencing is just what you should be feeling. If you don't feel badly about it, at least to some degree, you aren't much of a 'human bean'. It would be nice (for those in positions of responsibility) if each situation like this was clear cut and the employee was caught stealing or committing some other obvious offense. Unfortunately it is often the case where you simply have a square peg in a round hole...someone just not capable of doing the job. Those are always tough for good managers to have to pull the trigger on. But if you don't, then your company is ultimately going to suffer. Just look at our civil service system and see what it's done for them.


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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 03:59 PM   #6
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
I don't think I'm cut out for management.* Any advice?* Anyone ever in on a termination decision?
Yeah, that is one of the main areas that screwed up my personal job satisfaction. My favorite method to reduce this eventuality is to simply keep the bar very high for new hires.

Anyway, HR probably won't let you simply fire them. You need to ensure that you communicate your displeasure in writing, give them a fixed timeframe and goals for improvement, and then fire them.
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 04:16 PM   #7
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

If the company has done nothing to help this person perform and just let them flounder then I'd be upset and not want to be a part of it. If she has had the training to improve her performance and still cannot do the job effectively then you must do what's best for the company. Hopefully there is another position she is well suited for in the company but on the other hand she may not want that and just agree to leave.

I agree, if you didn't feel bad you wouldn't be human.

Cj
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 04:54 PM   #8
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Laurence, it might be easier on your psyche if you didn't think of it or refer to it as a lynching.

In fact, you are trying to be very fair and considerate, not something that one usually associates with lynchings.

Ha
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 05:05 PM   #9
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

You guys are right, calling it a lynching is a bit extreme, and I do think it will work out better for her in the long run. She has been given training and the tools she needs (this isn't my first time out here). IMHO, she really is a square peg in a round hole. And you are right, I'm not the one actually making the decision, I'm just providing input. To answer another's question, continued failure in this role could lead to loss of contracts and the shutting down of this site. It's really a no-brainer, but I still won't enjoy it.
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 05:56 PM   #10
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Over my 31 years in industry I have hired and fired many people. It is a major part of the job. In management, you are responsible for the cost effectiveness of your area and for the development of your people. If you have people that clearly do not get it despite retraining, action plans and development plans, then you are required to release them and find someone who can do it.

A company cannot succeed if employees cannot do their jobs. With the shrinking labor force it is even more critical for each person to pull their share of the load. If they can't or won't then they should not be there. It is bad for business and bad for everyone else who has to pick up the slack.

Having someone leave a job they are not suited for is not a bad thing. It is a good thing for everyone involved over the long haul. Short term it hurts and any person with an ounce of human sensitivity will feel the pain for the person leaving. If sucks to be in managment sometimes.
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 06:02 PM   #11
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Think about the good worker that should be in her position. Isn't the good worker being held back by this woman?

Or think about all the people that are carrying this woman. Is this situation fair to anyone?
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 07:00 PM   #12
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
She has been given training and the tools she needs (this isn't my first time out here).* IMHO, she really is a square peg in a round hole.*
Laurance,
When working w/clients on employee performance issues, I ask them to review the five main reasons why people do not meet expectations:
1. They do not know what to do (you say she has been given training--this does not necessary mean she knows how to use the information she has been given).
2. They do not know how to do the job. (see comment above. Engage her in her actual approach to what she is doing. Is she really clueless or just working from the wrong beginning)
3. They do not have the resources (this may be time, manager support, conflicting priorities, or sometime as simple as the right equipment)
4. They do not have the motivation to perform (can't cure this one but you can tell pretty quick if you have someone on a corrective action program and nothing changes)
5. They do not fit the job (square peg-round hole).* In this case, liberating her will be a gift.*
If her reputation is not too damaged, you should seriously evaluate her ability to match other roles in the organization including any she had before the current role.* Amazing how many people who are inappropriately promoted, are happy to "go back" to what they did well.* Your company has made a significant investment in her--can you recapture some it?
Good Luck.
nwsteve
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 07:13 PM   #13
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsteve
Laurance,
When working w/clients on employee performance issues, I ask them to review the five main reasons why people do not meet expectations:
1. They do not know what to do (you say she has been given training--this does not necessary mean she knows how to use the information she has been given).
2. They do not know how to do the job. (see comment above.* Engage her in her actual approach to what she is doing.* Is she really clueless or just working from the wrong beginning)
3. They do not have the resources (this may be time, manager support, conflicting priorities, or sometime as simple as the right equipment)
4. They do not have the motivation to perform (can't cure this one but you can tell pretty quick if you have someone on a corrective action program and nothing changes)
5. They do not fit the job (square peg-round hole).* In this case, liberating her will be a gift.*
If her reputation is not too damaged, you should seriously evaluate her ability to match other roles in the organization including any she had before the current role.* Amazing how many people who are inappropriately promoted, are happy to "go back" to what they did well.* Your company has made a significant investment in her--can you recapture some it?
Good Luck.
nwsteve
Just so you all know that I didn't give up on people precipitously...........
The last place I worked, there was a guy (pretty high up - son of a
major stockholder).......anyway, forget his title. Think he was a
corporate officer. By the time I arrived virtually everyone hated him
except for one or two "lackeys". Management wanted him out but no one wanted to step up. I saw that he was a problem (he was very
intelligent, just a PITA to everyone). I took him "under my wing"
on the theory that I could harness his knowledge and at least control
his rough edges (yeah, my ego workin'). The people I worked with
were delighted to give him to me and be done with it. I worked
with the guy for maybe 6 months until I couldn't stand him either
and then canned him. Some people can not be salvaged. He might
have done great elsewhere, but he was the proverbial square peg
in a round hole.

JG
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 07:29 PM   #14
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Just got out of a meeting about this, good news is they are going to formally start a PIP on her (Personal Improvement Plan), which means she's got six months before the axe falls, even if she did nothing. They are going to use my feedback as part of the file. All indications are it's a matter of when, not if, but I'm glad she'll be given a true wake up call and an opportunity to either turn it around or find another place.

As far as your list nwsteve, where would behavior like this fall?:

"O.K., so you didn't do X, I need you to do X by October 1st, here are the steps and tools you need."

"Sure thing!"

October 1st...

"Hey, you didn't do X, what is the status on it?"

Now randomly insert one of the following:

1. "You never told me to do X!"

2. "I told Joe I needed Y and he never got back to me, so I couldn't finish X!" (So why didn't you follow up with Joe or let us know earlier?)

3. "I was never trained how to do that! I don't get support from management!" (Again, the date is looming on the calendar, shouldn't you say something earlier, besides, I trained you myself...)

Those were all direct quotes. The funny thing is, the person is not being devious, she really believes she is the wronged party in all of the above! Plus, she starts crying when a situation gets tense/confrontational. I'm a sensitive guy, but crying when you get yelled at for forgetting your TPS report for the third time is just annoying. Let's get a little perspective!
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 07:33 PM   #15
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
good news is they are going to formally start a PIP
That is good news. You gotta do the PIP before you do the RIF. Gawd, how I miss work! :
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 07:52 PM   #16
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
Just got out of a meeting about this, good news is they are going to formally start a PIP on her (Personal Improvement Plan), which means she's got six months before the axe falls, even if she did nothing.* They are going to use my feedback as part of the file.* All indications are it's a matter of when, not if, but I'm glad she'll be given a true wake up call and an opportunity to either turn it around or find another place.

As far as your list nwsteve, where would behavior like this fall?:

"O.K., so you didn't do X, I need you to do X by October 1st, here are the steps and tools you need."

"Sure thing!"

October 1st...

"Hey, you didn't do X, what is the status on it?"*

Now randomly insert one of the following:

1. "You never told me to do X!"

2. "I told Joe I needed Y and he never got back to me, so I couldn't finish X!" (So why didn't you follow up with Joe or let us know earlier?)

3. "I was never trained how to do that!* I don't get support from management!" (Again, the date is looming on the calendar, shouldn't you say something earlier, besides, I trained you myself...)

Those were all direct quotes.* The funny thing is, the person is not being devious, she really believes she is the wronged party in all of the above!* Plus, she starts crying when a situation gets tense/confrontational.* I'm a sensitive guy, but crying when you get yelled at for forgetting your TPS report for the third time is just annoying.* Let's get a little perspective!* *
Crying used to just piss me off, but I have mellowed since.

Let's see, my worst termination was...................OH, I remember!
An assistant accountant I hired about 1968 -69. I interviewed him and
then ran him by my boss, The Controller. We agreed he was the guy.
Once on board, the guy couldn't do anything. It was as if he never
did any actual accounting in his life. He was gone quick.

Another time I interviewed 3 guys for an important management
position. I hired one, promptly fired him and hired my 2nd choice;
also a bust. After about 3 months I tracked down the 3rd guy.
He was still interested so we hired him. The guy turned out to be absolute dynamite. Terrific. I interviewed in an office next to my home
and when I told my wife how great he was, she said she had seen all
3 candidates arrive and he was her first choice. Why? "He had the
best looking ass!"

JG
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 08:03 PM   #17
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

All of this makes me puke about employers. Of course I do not know her and how unfit she is for the job. But apparently she tries very hard. Giving the PIP is just a legal ass covering to get her fired - that decision was already made before they talked to you. I am sure they appreciated your formal input (more ass covering). I have seen so many times that very competent people are put in a job which is not suited for them. They would flourish in something else but they are doomed to fail in what the company has assigned them to do (sometimes people do underestimate their strengths). Of course she will try harder and of course she will fail and of course she will get fired. How predictable......

I only cooperated with a 'lynching' one time. This fellow had threatened me and chased me down the hallway. Mmm, had similar experiences with other Pakis before. Did not feel bad about helping him out of the door though.

Vicky
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 08:21 PM   #18
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
I interviewed in an office next to my home
and when I told my wife how great he was, she said she had seen all
3 candidates arrive and he was her first choice.* Why?* "He had the
best looking ass!"* *

JG
Early in my career I had some office manager's duties which included hiring and firing. Never enjoyed the firing. One position that I always had a problem with was with our receptionist. I finally decided that I would just hire the best looking woman for the job! You know what? Employee morale improved, everyone reported to work on time, and just overall employee performance improved. Made my job much easier. *
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 08:35 PM   #19
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vic
I only cooperated with a 'lynching' one time. This fellow had threatened me and chased me down the hallway. Mmm, had similar experiences with other Pakis before.
ĄDios mio! Did you put put this bit of personal history in your report to the EEOC?

Ha
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?
Old 10-12-2005, 10:52 PM   #20
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Re: Ever had to take part in a lynching?

Nope. Also did not put the comments in there that I was told I should be a good woman and stay home in the kitchen and produce babies. I tend to ignore this stuff but I will not put up with violence directed at me
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