Permit me to take a different approach. I have never known an employee who could not be made better had they a more effective leader or manager. The fault of all failing employees rest with the manager. If you have a problem employee go to the manager. Jack Welch said management is the bottleneck of all organizations.
A terminated employee and a disgruntled customer have more valuable information on an organization than virtually any management team. Do you know? Because a) They don’t care about “My way or the highway b) they have nothing to lose. Hence they won’t give the Nokia effect. Where top management teams settled into protective silos rather than stating what needed to be done c).
Don’t become enraged with my comments concerning hr. I have a human resources masters. I come from the standpoint that most hr practitioners, executives and consultants generally utter those sweet words without committing to the necessary action of stirring the pot. So, why don’t I gently push? We have waited too long. Business is at an urgent crossroads where commoditization, uncertainty and complexity are the new normal. HR along with manufacturing etc have to demonstrate their value by finding innovative way of improving employee engagement rather than lamenting the good old days when things were normal. The must view every hire, very current employee, every process, every meeting is to profitably achieve competitive advantage. They must their behavior as part of the whole enterprise not separate.
Additionally, hold HR accountable for being more than the gatekeepers for compliance. Hire people in HR who are on fire. They are passionate about innovating processes, people and the entire organization. Only hire the best. But make sure they are rebels. People who have aberrations on their resumes. Not squeaky cleans who have never stuck their neck out. You want entrepreneurs who understand the bottom-line of the organization. Why? Because you want what the organization need to achieve competitive advantage. That is the real job of HR. To enable the organization to achieve competitive advantage. There is no other aim. That thinking begins not by creating debilitating policies hoping to catch people doing something. Rather opening the flood gates of dissent and feedback with repercussions.
Here is an afterthought to the question. How long do you put up with an under-performing employee? About as long as you retain their inept #management. It is always management and leadership where corrective action should take place. For employees generally mimic the behavior and passion of their supervisors.
Jim Woods is President of he InnoThink Group is a boutique management consulting firm located in Colorado Springs, CO providing leadership development training for small business, Fortune 500 and government since 1987. See our clients. Go>
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