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Thread: The Good thing about Firing People

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    Default The Good thing about Firing People

    I think that this deserves its own thread. Cato made a pretty good description of how things work in many areas of the private sector:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cato View Post
    I once worked for a company where once a year the management teams of each of the businesses that made up the group had to identify the Ďdead weightí within each team and then actively manage them out, using the disciplinary process. This was an annual cull of the worst performers.

    Increments were awarded each year. The general increase would be agreed, but the bottom 20% of performers would receive no increase and the top 20% would receive an increase greater then the general one, while those in the middle would receive the general one.
    I think that the metrics are a bit extreme, but the notion is common. Expatriot made a reasonable response, but I think that it is a bit legalistic and doesnít appreciate the realities of working in the private sector economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriot View Post
    Well harsh as that sounds I think it is a reasonable way of dealing with a difficult situation. If you are forced with getting rid of some of your staff you might as well get rid of the worst ones. But simply sacking people to save money is illegal, redundancy laws apply to anyone that is employed. I think maybe some private sector people are in for a bit of a shock when the "job for life" thing in the PS is destroyed.
    There are two points to make: Firstly, employment protections donít kick in until the employee is in the job for a year, and most employers have a Ďprobationaryí period of at least six months, often more. Employees who arenít up to scratch are taken aside and told in no uncertain terms what is required. If they donít shape up, the employee will be told that their position will not continue.

    The second point is what Iím interested in: Is this a bad thing? Iím not sure that it is.

    Many people enter the workforce with grossly unrealistic notions about work rates, attention levels and other behaviours required to hold down a job, particularly a responsible one. Some people shape up. Some don't.

    All other methods having failed, getting fired is a powerful feedback that your attitudes adjusting. It is unlikely to do any lasting harm to the career of someone who has recently entered the job market Ė but I think it can be actively helpful. It makes someone understand what they need to do to be successful in their career. Having learnt that lesson, they can go on to be successful, perhaps more so than if they had just muddled on, not getting anywhere in their job because they werenít performing.

    Thoughts?
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    Default Firing the politicans and bankers.

    Yes it would be a good thing if we fired all the useless politicans and bankers...
    Shut down Anglo Irish Bank,The HSE,FAS and sack all the Quangocrats...

    The sooner the better...Sack the lot of them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GJG View Post
    I think that the metrics are a bit extreme, but the notion is common. Expatriot made a reasonable response, but I think that it is a bit legalistic and doesnít appreciate the realities of working in the private sector economy.
    It worked. It kept the team on their toes and in general those who were working hard were happy to have the dead weight gotten rid of. We used to do a employee survey once a year (anonymous) and consistently the second highest dissatisfier was the poor performance of others not being addressed.

    The real key though is to try and constantly improve your hiring procedures so that potential poor performers are weeded out during the interview process.

    The pay thing also worked as a motivator, both for the high performers to keep doing what they were doing and for the worst performers to leave.

    There are two points to make: Firstly, employment protections donít kick in until the employee is in the job for a year, and most employers have a Ďprobationaryí period of at least six months, often more. Employees who arenít up to scratch are taken aside and told in no uncertain terms what is required. If they donít shape up, the employee will be told that their position will not continue.
    Companies should always use this to their maximum advantage. A full review at the end of probation followed by another before the initial year is up. If unhappy with the employee then better to just get rid of them then rather than waiting for it to become legally difficult to deal with.

    The second point is what Iím interested in: Is this a bad thing? Iím not sure that it is.

    Many people enter the workforce with grossly unrealistic notions about work rates, attention levels and other behaviours required to hold down a job, particularly a responsible one. Some people shape up. Some don't.
    It is a good thing. Better performing teams means better results for the company. It's also better for the employees as people prefer to be a part of a high performing team where everyone works hard and where people are not having to be carried. It's not always just new entrants to the work place that fall foul. Sometimes the performance of those who have been there for a while falls down and where that happens it has to be addressed using the performance management tools and the disciplinary process, which may result in dismissal.

    All other methods having failed, getting fired is a powerful feedback that your attitudes adjusting. It is unlikely to do any lasting harm to the career of someone who has recently entered the job market Ė but I think it can be actively helpful. It makes someone understand what they need to do to be successful in their career. Having learnt that lesson, they can go on to be successful, perhaps more so than if they had just muddled on, not getting anywhere in their job because they werenít performing.

    Thoughts?
    I've had a few (admittedly very few) people I fired come back and thank me for it saying it did them a favour. Sometimes it is just the shock people need.

    I never took any pleasure in firing anyone. It is always difficult but sometimes it is necessary.
    ďI would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson (yeah, I'm aware of the irony)

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    Politics.ie Member farnaby's Avatar
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    Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where you are now. And it's *because* they sat there that they were able to do it.
    George Clooney character's inspiring "you're fired" speech, from "Up in the Air"

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    The F.I.F.O method management. (and its not "First In" etc)

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    It CAN be a good thing, especially for someone starting out on a career but a little off kilter with what is expected of them, it may be the shake up they need.

    However, it all depends on the attitude of the interviewers they then face. Many, the majority I would wager, hold being unemployed and especially being laid off as a massive negative against a person.

    Rather, it should be seen for what it is, a set-back but not one that cannot be overcome. The interviewer shouldn't be worried that the candidate was sacked, rather why they were let go and how they have dealt with the issues that caused it (assuming not a forced redundancy due to business downturn etc)

    But just like a failed business, the stigma of failure is huge in Ireland and very difficult to overcome.
    "I've said it before, and I'll say it again: democracy just doesn't work". - Kent Brockman

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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJG View Post
    There are two points to make: Firstly, employment protections donít kick in until the employee is in the job for a year, and most employers have a Ďprobationaryí period of at least six months, often more. Employees who arenít up to scratch are taken aside and told in no uncertain terms what is required. If they donít shape up, the employee will be told that their position will not continue.

    The second point is what Iím interested in: Is this a bad thing? Iím not sure that it is.
    Employees with the threat of firing hanging over them do not perform well. You can only sack employees if they fall down in pre-agreed performance indicators. Firing the bottom performers every year is a crap way of running a business. Supposing there is no "deadwood"? Why do the bottom 20% get no bonus and not the bottom 30%. What you have described is a rubbish way to run a business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clanrickard View Post
    Employees with the threat of firing hanging over them do not perform well. You can only sack employees if they fall down in pre-agreed performance indicators. Firing the bottom performers every year is a crap way of running a business. Supposing there is no "deadwood"? Why do the bottom 20% get no bonus and not the bottom 30%. What you have described is a rubbish way to run a business.
    It was not the bottom performers that were fired every year, just the dead wood and they were always given the chance to improve. If they did then they didn't get fired. Performance standards were made very plain and explicit and everyone was expected to conform to them and even exceed them. Those who didn't had their performance managed and were worked through the disciplinary procedures.

    It wasn't that the bottom 20% didn't receive a bonus, it was that they didn't receive the cost of living increase. 60% did and 20% received greater than the COL increase. Bonuses were paid only on the basis of profit targets being exceeded, and then everyone shared in them.
    ďI would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson (yeah, I'm aware of the irony)

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    And of course your method is perfect for creating a bullying culture.

    I wish people would stop thinking stupid shows like The Apprentice, America's Next Top Model, X Factor etc were good examples of how society should be.

    You describe dead wood as cannon fodder. You're disgusting.

    Having worked with someone in a position of power who employed these models, the result was fear, anxiety and depression. None of which contributed to high productivity, just a truckload of hyper-vigilance and priorities gone askew.

    Yep. excellent working model.

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    Death of a Salesman anyone?

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