You probably wouldn’t have many second thoughts about dismissing an employee who’s extremely unproductive or behaves outrageously. But what about an employee whose performance is mediocre, but not horrible? Or whose behavior is bad, but not outrageous? That can be a tougher call. But ignoring these problems can have a huge negative impact on productivity, morale and your career as a leader.
How do you know whether to let the situation continue or when it’s time to give him a last chance to straighten out before you remove him?
To read the rest of this article from the East Bay Business Journal, see: Handling the marginally troublesome employee http://www.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2008/09/01/smallb6.html
For example, Carl manages a support group whose productivity is adequate. But the managers Carl is supposed to support complain that he’s too difficult to work with. He always has facile excuses when he misses deadlines. He conveniently forgets promises he made. Worse, he feels defensive and blows up at meetings and verbally attacks other managers. His negativity is catching and toxic to the rest of your team.
As his department head, you can see Carl’s problems and the unhappiness of your other managers. But you can also see the benefits Carl brings. He’s technically skilled and admired by people who don’t work with him. He’d be difficult to replace.
Real leaders bite the bullet when they have a bad situation on their hands. If Carl is unhappy with your oversight but won’t change his behavior, help him find a job somewhere else. Plan ahead; start looking for a replacement when you begin to hold him accountable.
When Carl is gone, your credibility will increase and you’ll get lots of positive feedback. Other managers will heave a great sigh of relief. There’ll be a decrease in insubordination, tension and complaining. Sick-leave and turnover will also decrease. People will thank you and tell you more stories about how bad it really was.
The simple fact is that failing to deal appropriately with a problem employee like Carl is a formula for disaster. If you have a Carl you don’t want to deal with, ask yourself: Are you willing to sacrifice your career to avoid confronting an employee who’s creating problems within your organization?
Learn what you can do to eliminate the high cost of mediocre and poor attitudes, behavior and performance.