Understand the the employee's motivations before moving forward with employee termination

by on May 28, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Find out what is rewarded and what is the motivation for change before you start an employee termination

Understand the motivation of any employee. When dealing with this kind of situation, ask yourself two questions; What’s being rewarded? What’s their motivation for change? If they are not motivated to change, they’re not going to change. Think about that before moving forward with employee termination.

Inconsistent rewards
For example, you’ve got a guy calls in sick every Wednesday. He’s got 30 days worth of sick leave built up, and when he’s here, he does good work. So, you can’t go after excessive absenteeism. Instead you create documentation so HR can help you. You document the unproductive work pattern. You don’t go after excessive sick leave, but unproductive work pattern goes a long way toward employee termination.

Let the employee use up the 30 days, he’s allowed to use them. A lot of companies have gone to pay time off, to help them with this. But you go after the pattern. If you can document the pattern, you can identify that it’s a problem. Unproductive work pattern can help in documenting employee termination.

No motivation for change
Likewise, if you got an employee who comes in late, but then you say nothing, obviously, nothing’s going to happen to him. So what are they going to do? Keep coming in late. People who are chronically late do it on purpose. They just want to test the line, just to see how far we are.

You, as a manager or supervisor, have got to determine if tardiness that important or not. You know, might not care if you see the sales guy or not as long as he’s selling stuff. But coverage is important to the receptionist’s job, you know, the emails start coming, the phones start going at 8 A.M., I’ve got to have him here by then.

But what have you done about it? Why should they be there at eight? Some managers will just say “Well, they should just inherently want to do a good job, so they should be here by then.” If you believe that, that’s fine. That’s your work ethic and that’s one of the reasons you got promoted. But expecting that from every employee is unrealistic.

Most employees aren’t going to do it just to make their managers or supervisors happy. Many of them don’t want your job. So, that’s not going to be much help unless you start threatening them with employee termination. Most managers won’t go down that route unless they have to. And even then, they’re going to be much more reasonable about it. But you decide what’s important and then go after it.

Edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar: “Yes, You Can Fire Without Fear! What Every Supervisor Needs to Know” by Hunter Lott, Esq. on August 22, 2007

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