Why Retain Bad Employees With 14% Unemployment?

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Human Resources/Administrative presentation at the 2009 MPCA Annual Conference.

Human Resources/Administrative presentation at the 2009 MPCA Annual Conference.

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  • 1. Human Resource Management Services, LLC Why Retain Bad Employees with 14% Unemployment? Michigan Primary Care Association September 28, 2009 By Andie Creamer, CHRS [email_address]
  • 2. Session Objective
    • Understand the decision making process when considering when to keep a challenging employee or when to separate the employment
    • What pitfalls may come with both options
    • Not one size fits all
  • 3. Define “Bad”
    • Definition of a “bad” employee
      • Not doing anything illegal or immoral
      • Takes up a large portion of supervisors time
      • Always on the edge of discipline or pushing the limits
      • Uses sick time the minute it is earned
      • Stirs the pot ~ antagonizes co-workers, complains and/or argues
      • Barely making quality and/or quantity minimum standards
      • Not necessarily “bad” but definitely a challenge
  • 4. Have We Done Our Job?
    • Evaluate challenging employee’s personnel file
      • Is the manager of this employee doing their job?
        • Has the employee been spoken to regarding their performance in a timely manner?
        • Have action plans been established for performance improvement?
        • Are performance evaluations consistent with performance?
        • Is the file documented to support a decision to terminate?
      • OR
      • Is this employee choosing to be difficult?
  • 5. Have We Done Our Job?
    • If you answered “no” to any of the previous questions, this may not be the time to terminate.
    • This could be an indication that the company failed the employee rather than the employee failing the company.
  • 6. Have We Done Our Job?
    • If you choose to keep the employee then what?
      • Coaching and Counseling
        • Make sure the employee understands they are not meeting expectations
        • Create an action plan that will result in improved performance (This should be done with input from the employee on the best ways they learn)
        • Document, Document, Document
          • Should you decide the employee has all the skills needed but is just being difficult, documentation will provide facts on what the employee has been trained to do
          • If this is a behavior problem, documentation will support the conversations that took place
  • 7. Have We Done Our Jobs?
    • If you decide the employee has had adequate training, coaching and counseling, and the company has not failed this employee
    • Continue with the process
  • 8. But We Are At Will!
    • Understanding the At Will Relationship
    • At Will vs. Just Cause
      • Must have justifiable reason to terminate
      • May put company at risk and open the door for employee to sue for wrongful discharge
  • 9. But We Are At Will!
    • Know your Liabilities
      • Discrimination
      • Retaliation
      • Morale of Staff
      • Production
  • 10. But We Are At Will!
    • At Will does not allow discrimination
    • What are the protected classes?
    • Age, gender, national origin, race, religion, marital status, familial status, pregnancy, height, weight and any other classification outlined in company handbook
    • Does the employee belong to a protected class?
    • Are there other employees that belong to the same protected class in good standing with the company?
    • Is this the only employee that belongs to this protected class?
  • 11. But We Are At Will!
    • Retaliation ~
      • If this employee is let go, does it have the appearance of a retaliatory move by the company? (intentional or unintentional)
        • Has the employee recently filed a claim against the company?
        • Has the employee notified state agencies of questionable practices by the company?
        • Has the employee asked for an accommodation due to a medical condition?
        • Has the employee reported to work with a doctor’s note requesting light duty or has restrictions?
  • 12. What Does It Cost To Terminate?
    • Cost of Turnover
      • Advertising the open position $_________
        • Newspaper, on-line, MI Works
      • Screening Process $_________
        • Will get a large number of applications to sort through for any decent paying job
        • All those on unemployment must be “looking for work” to receive compensation. Therefore you will get applications from those that are just going through the motions
  • 13. What Does It Cost To Terminate?
      • Testing $_________
        • Background/reference checking, drug testing etc.
      • Setup Costs $_________
        • Additional equipment, uniforms, handbooks, new hire paperwork, orientation etc.
      • Training Costs $_________
        • Special classes, hourly wage for the trainer plus the trainee, etc.
      • Grand Total $_________
  • 14. What Does It Cost To Terminate?
    • Unemployment System (currently)
      • 79 weeks of compensation for involuntary termination
      • Being forced out is involuntary termination
        • And may be retaliation
      • Increase to experience rating which means your costs will go up
      • In the current economy, most former employees will get unemployment
      • Know when to fight a claim and when to let it go
        • How and who fights the claim?
  • 15. What Does It Cost To Retain The Employee?
    • Cost of Retaining the Employee
      • Re-training $_________
        • Employee may simply need to be re-trained on how to do specific tasks
        • Original training of employee may not have been adequate
        • Consider the hourly wage of the trainee and the trainer
  • 16. What Does It Cost To Retain The Employee?
      • Increased Manager Supervision $________
        • Coaching and counseling sessions
        • Immediate feedback for inappropriate behavior or poor performance
        • May not be any additional time from the manager, just more productive
      • Attention to Documentation $_________
        • May only take a small portion of managers time but will reduce the risk to the company should the employee ultimately be terminated
  • 17. Who’s Available If We Do Terminate?
    • Understand the Reduction in Force Process
      • Available job pool may be majority “weak links”
      • Companies are cleaning house when reduction in staff is necessary
      • Who would you let go if you needed to reduce your staff?
      • May require longer periods of time to find the right new hire
  • 18. Who’s Available If We Do Terminate?
    • Consider “challenging employee” vs. new hire
      • You know what you have with the challenging employee, new hire may be worse than what you are currently dealing with
      • Desperate job seekers are willing to agree to anything in the interview process but quickly change behaviors and willingness once they have the job
  • 19. The Show Must Go On!
    • What to consider if you do decide to terminate:
      • Reassignment of job duties while looking for new hire
        • Are temporary workers an option? If so, what are the costs associated?
        • Will other workers experience over time with the vacancy? If so, what are the projected costs?
      • Company re-organization
        • Is this the time to re-organize and save on payroll costs?
  • 20. The Show Must Go On!
    • Consider the Morale of the
    • To Terminate
      • Staff may be tired of putting up with the pot stirring
      • Tired of doing poor performers work
      • Many employees are willing to pick up extra work in exchange for not having to deal with pot stirring
      • May be tired of managements willingness to put up with the situation
    • Remaining Staff
    • To Retain
      • Staff may appreciate effort to retain employee with additional training
      • Employee may not be intentionally disruptive, just needs extra training or guidance
      • Employees may appreciate keeping the employee in such a bad economy
  • 21. The Show Must Go On!
    • Consider the Morale of the
    • To Terminate
      • Other employees may think the management staff approves of the behavior and will start to behave in a similar fashion
    • Remaining Staff
    • To Retain
      • May create very loyal employee is the situation is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction
    Only you will be able to decide which way your staff will perceive your decision
  • 22. The Show Must Go On!
    • If you decide to terminate ~ How to handle remaining staff
      • Go on the offense instead of the defense ~ let them know the plan before they even have to ask.
      • Answer staff questions honestly, if you cannot answer their questions without jeopardizing confidentiality ~ say so.
      • Don’t blow off staff, if you don’t give them the answers they will make them up on their own
  • 23. Conclusion
    • Every situation is unique and must be evaluated individually using the steps discussed
    • High unemployment rate does not mean employees should be fired for the smallest infraction
    • Once we get back to low unemployment, that also does not mean we need to retain employees that should be let go
    • Leadership of your company cannot be based upon the unemployment rate
  • 24. Human Resource Management Services, LLC
    • Helping you solve your employee problems
    • Employee relations
    • Customized handbooks
    • Management and supervisory coaching
    • Job descriptions
    • Compensation systems
    • Staffing
    • Training
    • Performance appraisal systems
    • Performance development
    • Policies and procedures development and implementation
    • Personnel file system
    • Human resource audits
    • Federal and State regulation compliance