Bad Employee

How To Deal With A Bad Employee

In a perfect world, you wouldn't have to deal with a bad employee but from time to time, it is almost inevitable that you will.  No matter how much effort you put into screening your new hires and how thorough you think that you are with the interview process, some always slip through the cracks.  Of course, sometimes the employee just doesn't fit in with others in the organization or they are simply unhappy with their job.

Addressing A Bad Employee

As soon as you identify that an employee has poor work performance, attendance, attitude or is just not getting along with others, you need to address it right away.  Always bring the person into your office away from other employees.  Begin by asking them why their work performance has fallen.  Perhaps they have a personal or health reason?  In some cases, a current staff can be not so welcoming to a new hire, this could also be the problem.

Sometimes, a bad employee is the company's own fault due to lack of training.  Every organization has their own techniques and processes for training, if they are of low quality, the result is often employees who are unable to produce results that are expected of them.  If this happens to be the case, you may need to provide the employee with further training and address the trainer or training program as well.  After this has been done, you can fairly evaluate if the employee has improved enough in their performance or not.

If the cause of the employee's work performance is due to family or personal issues, you should recommend that they seek counseling and allow them a designated amount of time to improve their work performance.  If the cause is drug or alcohol-related, direct the employee to enter some type of rehabilitation program immediately.  Every organization has their own policy on dealing with a bad employee so you may or may not be able to hold their job open for a set amount of time while they receive the help that they need.

What To Do When The Problem Persists

If even after counseling, the work performance of the bad employee does not improve, you will need to issue a warning in document form that will need to be added to their folder in the Human Resource department.  This will tell the employee very clearly that if they fail to improve their work performance in 30 days, they will be terminated.  During this time, the employee's performance should be evaluated every week.  If they are making a clear effort to improve their work, you must be fair and document this.

There are cases where a new hire seems as though they have the perfect qualifications, resume and references however, their skills are just not suited for their job responsibility.  If you feel they are a hard, reliable worker and worth training, you may decide this is your best option.

If counseling the bad employee along with the written warnings does not help, the employee will need to be fired so that someone more suitable can take the position that the company will benefit from.

Firing An Employee

Firing an employee for any reason is never a pleasant situation but sometimes there is no other option.  When you make the decision to fire someone, you need to do it immediately, procrastination never helps the situation.  This is especially true if the employee senses that termination is coming.  Worse case scenario, your business can be hurt by a disgruntle employee.

Always have a plan and a paper trail of warnings when you fire someone.  Unless you are dealing with an immediate termination due to breach of policy, theft, etc., you should have already spoken to the employee regarding performance concerns.  If you do not have evidence of why the employee should be fired, you could face legal issues.  A reason for termination statement should always be presented and signed by yourself, a witness and the employee, if possible.