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Old 01-29-2014, 11:33 AM
1,480 posts, read 2,607,626 times
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Do you believe that professionals should get a series of warnings before they are terminated for the inability to do their jobs?

I am particularly interested in the opinions of Managers and Business owners.

I have worked in many organizations where the manager would quickly fire any employee almost immediately who showed an inability to do the job. The company leadership felt that there is no reason for a progressive discipline process (a mix of oral warning, written warning, performance improvement plan, additional training, and counseling) This just took too much time and effort. They felt it was better to quickly dispose of an employee who had a problem and move on and hire someone new.

What do you think. From a companies perspective, isn't it better to just fire the employee at the first sign of trouble?
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:42 AM
13,374 posts, read 10,811,845 times
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Depends on the problem.

Most places expect things to be done a certain way.. It takes time to learn those ways.. Especially if you're coming from somewhere it was done differently before.

I believe in a relatively short leash.. But.. Immediate? Blindsiding them without any warning whatsoever? That's when people come in shooting the place up.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:51 AM
53 posts, read 79,845 times
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I agree that disciplinary action depends upon the nature of the infraction by the employee. Instances of fraud or embezzlement call for immediate dismissal. Most other matters simply demand further training.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:50 PM
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Not performing the job at the managers expectation, not stealing, lateness, assaults, lying, etc.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:02 PM
Location: NY
9,131 posts, read 17,744,672 times
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I find progressive discipline to be a double edged sword. On one hand, I have seen it work effectively to bring up performance of someone who was capable of performing in the job, and who for whatever reason had fallen off. I found this a positive because of the investment already made in the employee. In these situations, it is often cheaper and/or more efficient for the organization to bring someone up to standard than terminate and start over from scracth with a new hire.

On the opposite side, it is just a long set of hurdles to get over when handling someone who is unable to grasp or execute the technical aspects of the job, and is just over their head. Progressive disipline uses up a lot of time to reach the inevitable.

So really... it just depends.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:47 PM
307 posts, read 375,983 times
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Progressive discipline covers you more if you get sued.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:26 PM
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 13,649,068 times
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Originally Posted by RIVERSMVP14 View Post
Progressive discipline covers you more if you get sued.
And perhaps reduces the 'going postal' risk of a sudden termination?
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:19 PM
Location: Western Washington
12,206 posts, read 11,135,631 times
Reputation: 20301
Yes, I practice progressive action.

I tend to use the following steps:

Training, pointing out errors as they occur.
Casual coaching, where I bring up repeated problem areas that need to be addressed.
Formal verbal warning.
Written warning.
Final warning/improvement plan. This is time limited with weekly progress meetings.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:24 PM
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,485 posts, read 6,116,379 times
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Let's look at this from a purely financial perspective -- in two parts.

First, how much does it cost, from start to finish, just to recruit and hire a new professional employee? Not just advertising expenses, but the fully-burdened cost of the time expended by everyone who is involved in the process from the receptionist to the highest-ranking decision maker. When you let someone go, you've just "lost" that investment. If you plan to re-fill the position, you've doubled your cost.

Second, how much does it cost to get even the most seasoned, most experienced professional new-hire up to speed in his/her position? Think in terms of his/her fully-burdened rate, the rates of everyone who must help, etc. When you let someone go, you "lost" whatever part of that investment you've already made. If you plan to re-fill the position, the meter starts all over again.

I agree -- if its clear the person simply can't do the job, it may be more cost-effective to let them go and start over. However, if there's a chance the person can be "saved" (which is the actual purpose of progressive discipline), it makes better sense to at least try.

And by the way, if this happens more than once or twice, it would be an excellent idea to find the flaws and faults in the company's hiring & orientation practices -- something's going badly wrong.

As always, YMMV.

-- Nighteyes
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:31 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
37,065 posts, read 67,557,348 times
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It depends on the kind of work, but I'll always give a chance to improve. When I owned a business for 16 years that required fine motor skills in a production environment I could tell within a few minutes/hours whether someone was going to make it. For those that did not, I would give a warning after the first day and several realized they couldn't handle it and saved me the trouble by quitting. Now as a manager in an office setting the critical skills are required to get the job, and firing would most likely be for lack of attention to detail, failure to meet deadlines, excessive errors. My handling of this involves a warning with follow-up coaching, followed by a written performance plan for improvement, that includes possible termination if the terms are not met by the specified deadline. Until then there would be weekly meetings to discuss and additional coaching.
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