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There are many incompetent people in the world. Dr. David A. Dunning is haunted by the fear
that he might be one of them.
...
subjects assumed that others were performing as well as they were -- a phenomenon
psychologists term the "false consensus ...
talking about those employees who don't seem to ever understand what they are doing or
how they are supposed to be doing i...
These are some of the best ways to handle incompetent employees. You owe it to your
business and to the employee to make e...
bosses must make every effort to reform or (if
necessary) oust them.
Spreading the Vibes
It's easy to understand why bosse...
Consider research on bad apples and team effectiveness
by Will Felps, Terence R. Mitchell and Eliza Byington.
They examine...
them a short job to accomplish. (The candidates are paid
for their time.)
Not only do they learn a lot about the candidate...
Consider Robert W. Baird & Co., a financial-services firm
that has won praise as a great place to work. The
company is ser...
this the "no jerk rule" (though they use a more colorful
word than "jerk").
The company starts sending the message during ...
A spokesman for Chez Panisse says Ms. Waters does
personally fire employees on occasion and "she
manages to have that pers...
lesson, according to the researchers: "That one
individual brought the others down, and when he was
gone, they could do th...
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Case study for inmcompetent prsonnel

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Case study for inmcompetent prsonnel

  1. 1. There are many incompetent people in the world. Dr. David A. Dunning is haunted by the fear that he might be one of them. Dunning, a professor of psychology at Cornell, worries about this because, according to his research, most incompetent people do not know that they are incompetent. On the contrary. People who do things badly, Dunning has found in studies conducted with a graduate student, Justin Kruger, are usually supremely confident of their abilities -- more confident, in fact, than people who do things well. "I began to think that there were probably lots of things that I was bad at, and I didn't know it," Dunning said. One reason that the ignorant also tend to be the blissfully self-assured, the researchers believe, is that the skills required for competence often are the same skills necessary to recognize competence. The incompetent, therefore, suffer doubly, they suggested in a paper appearing in the December issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it," wrote Kruger, now an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, and Dunning. This deficiency in "self-monitoring skills," the researchers said, helps explain the tendency of the humor-impaired to persist in telling jokes that are not funny, of day traders to repeatedly jump into the market -- and repeatedly lose out -- and of the politically clueless to continue holding forth at dinner parties on the fine points of campaign strategy. In a series of studies, Kruger and Dunning tested their theory of incompetence. They found that subjects who scored in the lowest quartile on tests of logic, English grammar and humor were also the most likely to "grossly overestimate" how well they had performed. In all three tests, subjects' ratings of their ability were positively linked to their actual scores. But the lowest-ranked participants showed much greater distortions in their self- estimates. Asked to evaluate their performance on the test of logical reasoning, for example, subjects who scored only in the 12th percentile guessed that they had scored in the 62nd percentile, and deemed their overall skill at logical reasoning to be at the 68th percentile. Similarly, subjects who scored at the 10th percentile on the grammar test ranked themselves at the 67th percentile in the ability to "identify grammatically correct standard English," and estimated their test scores to be at the 61st percentile. On the humor test, in which participants were asked to rate jokes according to their funniness (subjects' ratings were matched against those of an "expert" panel of professional comedians), low-scoring subjects were also more apt to have an inflated perception of their skill. But because humor is idiosyncratically defined, the researchers said, the results were less conclusive. Unlike unskilled counterparts, the most able subjects in the study, Kruger and Dunning found, were likely to underestimate their competence. The researchers attributed this to the fact that, in the absence of information about how others were doing, highly competent
  2. 2. subjects assumed that others were performing as well as they were -- a phenomenon psychologists term the "false consensus effect." When high-scoring subjects were asked to "grade" the grammar tests of their peers, however, they quickly revised their evaluations of their own performance. In contrast, the self-assessments of those who scored badly themselves were unaffected by the experience of grading others; some subjects even further inflated their estimates of their own abilities. "Incompetent individuals were less able to recognize competence in others," the researchers concluded. In a final experiment, Dunning and Kruger set out to discover if training would help modify the exaggerated self-perceptions of incapable subjects. In fact, a short training session in logical reasoning did improve the ability of low-scoring subjects to assess their performance realistically, they found. The findings, the psychologists said, support Thomas Jefferson's assertion that "he who knows best knows how little he knows." And the research meshes neatly with other work indicating that overconfidence is common; studies have found, for example, that the vast majority of people rate themselves as "above average" on a wide array of abilities -- though such an abundance of talent would be impossible in statistical terms. This overestimation, studies indicate, is more likely for tasks that are difficult than for those that are easy. Such studies are not without critics. Dr. David C. Funder, a psychology professor at the University of California at Riverside, for example, said he suspects that most lay people have only a vague idea of the meaning of "average" in statistical terms. "I'm not sure the average person thinks of 'average' or 'percentile' in quite that literal a sense," Funder said, "so 'above average' might mean to them 'pretty good,' or 'OK,' or 'doing all right.' And if, in fact, people mean something subjective when they use the word, then it's really hard to evaluate whether they're right or wrong, using the statistical criterion." But Dunning said his current research and past studies indicated there are many reasons why people would tend to overestimate their competency and not be aware of it. In various situations, feedback is absent, or at least ambiguous; even a humorless joke, for example, is likely to be met with polite laughter. And faced with incompetence, social norms prevent most people from blurting out "You stink!" -- truthful though this assessment may be. Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Incompetent-People-Really-Have-No-Clue-Studies- 2783375.php#ixzz2UROsuBVq All employers will have to deal with employees who just aren't cutting the grade. Dealing with incompetent employees is a must at some point. We aren't talking about employees who mess up every now and then. We are all human and therefore make mistakes. We are
  3. 3. talking about those employees who don't seem to ever understand what they are doing or how they are supposed to be doing it. Incompetent employees are of no use to the employer. Here is how employers can deal with incompetent employees: The Talk- Talking to the employee about the problem of incompetency is a touchy situation. You have to address the problem and you have to give the employee a chance to improve on the job. Once you have hired someone, it is your obligation to give them every chance to improve. Let the employee know exactly what the problem is. Tell them what you expect and try to find out what the real problem is. Discipline- The most difficult part of being an employer is having to discipline employees for incompetence. Having to tell someone that they aren't good at what they are doing is a tough thing to do. However, it must be done. If the problem continues even after you have talked to the employee about it, it is time for discipline to occur. This could be in the form of a written notice or some other disciplinary action that could help encourage the employee to improve their position in the company. Close Watch- If you have an incompetent employee, you have to treat them as a child sometimes. Keep a very close eye on the person who is not getting the job done right. This will allow you to be more helpful to the employee and possibly saving their job and your time in hiring an entirely new person for the job. Two things can happen in this instance. The employee will improve and you will be able to work more on their own or they will fail and you will have to take other steps to repair the problem with the incompetent employee. Co-Workers- If at all possible, have other co-workers help the incompetent worker understand what needs to be done and how to do it properly. Another employee may be able to get through to the incompetent employee without them feeling too intimidated about it. Managers can often make a not so stable worker feel a bit on edge even though they are just trying to help them. This makes the problem worse at times instead of better. Firing- If all else fails, chances are that you will have to fire the incompetent employee. Firing someone because they can't get the job done or can't seem to get it right is inevitable when they make no progress towards improvement. This is the hardest part about being an employer. It is never pleasant letting an employee go because of incompetency. It is, however, part of the job and must be done.
  4. 4. These are some of the best ways to handle incompetent employees. You owe it to your business and to the employee to make every effort to help them improve themselves. Once you have tried everything that is in your power, it is time to fire the employee for the betterment of the company and for their own good. Some people aren't cut out for some positions in life. This is one of those times. Superstars get a lot of attention from bosses. But bad apples deserve even more. Journal Report Insights from The Experts Read more at WSJ.com/LeadershipReport More in Unleashing Innovation: Big Data Big Data, Big Blunders The New Shape of Big Data Moneyball, VC Style A Guide to Facebook's Privacy Options A growing body of research suggests that having just a few nasty, lazy or incompetent characters around can ruin the performance of a team or an entire organization—no matter how stellar the other employees. Bad apples distract and drag down everyone, and their destructive behaviors, such as anger, laziness and incompetence, are remarkably contagious. Leaders who let a few bad apples in the door—perhaps in exchange for political favors—or look the other way when employees are rude or incompetent are setting the stage for even their most skilled people to fail. It's crucial for leaders to screen out bad apples before they're hired—and if they doslip through the cracks,
  5. 5. bosses must make every effort to reform or (if necessary) oust them. Spreading the Vibes It's easy to understand why bosses would rather focus on attracting and developing superstars. A mountain of research shows that stars and geniuses can deliver astounding results. And, obviously, it's more fun and inspiring to focus on top-performing, energetic employees. Serge Bloch But studies of everything from romantic relationships to workplace encounters show that negative interactions can pack a much bigger wallop than positive ones. The reason is simple: "Bad is stronger than good," as psychologist Roy Baumeister and his colleagues put it. The negative thoughts, feelings and performance they trigger in others are far larger and longer lasting than the positive responses generated by more constructive colleagues.
  6. 6. Consider research on bad apples and team effectiveness by Will Felps, Terence R. Mitchell and Eliza Byington. They examined the impact of team members who were deadbeats ("withholders of effort"), downers (who "express pessimism, anxiety, insecurity and irritation") and jerks (who violate "interpersonal norms of respect"). An experiment by Mr. Felps found that having just one slacker or jerk in a group can bring down performance by 30% to 40%. How can organizations squash those negative influences? The easiest way, obviously, is to avoid hiring bad apples in the first place—and that means taking a different approach to assessing candidates for jobs. The usual means of screening are often weak when it comes to determining if a job candidate is a bad apple. Candidates may have gone to the best schools or may come across as charming and brilliant in interviews— thus disguising their laziness, incompetence or nastiness. That's why one of the best ways to screen employees is to see how they actually do the job under realistic conditions. Akshay Kothari and Ankit Gupta favor that approach. When they're hiring new people for their Palo Alto, Calif., company, Pulse, which makes a news- reading app for mobile devices, they consider evaluations from peers and superiors and do multiple rounds of interviews. But they say the most effective thing is to bring candidates in for a day or two and give
  7. 7. them a short job to accomplish. (The candidates are paid for their time.) Not only do they learn a lot about the candidates' technical skills, Messrs. Kothari and Gupta say, but they also learn about their personality. How do they deal with setbacks? Do they know when to ask for help and to give others help? Is the candidate the kind of person they want to work with? The partners say there have been several candidates who looked great on paper and came highly recommended but weren't offered jobs—because technical and interpersonal weaknesses surfaced during the selection process. Play Nice or Else Beyond smarter screening, it's important to develop a culture that doesn't tolerate jerks. The best organizations make explicit their intolerance for bad apples; they spell out which behaviors are unacceptable in the workplace and act decisively to prevent and halt them.
  8. 8. Consider Robert W. Baird & Co., a financial-services firm that has won praise as a great place to work. The company is serious about creating a culture where disrespect and selfishness are unacceptable. They call
  9. 9. this the "no jerk rule" (though they use a more colorful word than "jerk"). The company starts sending the message during the hiring process, says CEO Paul Purcell. "During the interview, I look them in the eye and tell them, 'If I discover that you are a jerk, I am going to fire you,' " he says. "Most candidates aren't fazed by this, but every now and then, one turns pale, and we never see them again—they find some reason to back out of the search." When the company makes a hiring error and brings aboard an employee who persistently demeans colleagues or puts personal needs ahead of others, Baird acts quickly to deal with or expel the bad apple. Mr. Purcell's crusty approach won't work in every company culture. For an idea of how to handle the task with a more subtle hand, look at renowned chef Alice Waters, who has headed the restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., for 40 years now. Biographer Thomas McNamee describes how Ms. Waters's love of people and food has spread to those around her. Along the way, though, many bad apples have been shown the door—but Ms. Waters doesn't hold it open. The process usually starts when one of her colleagues conveys the message that Ms. Waters isn't "entirely pleased." If the hints don't work, then that colleague—or someone else close to Ms. Waters—does the firing.
  10. 10. A spokesman for Chez Panisse says Ms. Waters does personally fire employees on occasion and "she manages to have that person feel as though they are making the decision to leave and it is better for themselves to move on and explore new opportunities." He also notes that a large percentage of employees have been with the restaurant for decades. Keeping Them Close There are times, of course, when an organization can't— or won't—remove a destructive personality. Maybe the person is a star as well as a bad apple, for instance, or is otherwise crucial to the operation. In such cases, leaders might try to use coaching, warnings and incentives to curb the toxic employee's behavior. Another tactic is to physically isolate the bad apple. In one organization, there was a deeply skilled and incredibly nasty engineer whom leaders could not bring themselves to fire. So, they rented a beautiful private office for him several blocks from the building where his colleagues worked. His co-workers were a lot happier— and so was he, since he preferred working alone. But beware: Leaders who believe that destructive superstars are "too important" to fire often underestimate the damage they can do. Stanford researchers Charles O'Reilly and Jeffrey Pfeffer report a revealing episode at a clothing retailer. The company fired a top-producing salesman who was a bad apple. After he was gone, none of his former colleagues sold as much as he had. But the store's total sales shot up by nearly 30%. The
  11. 11. lesson, according to the researchers: "That one individual brought the others down, and when he was gone, they could do their best." Mr. Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University, is the author of "Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best…and Learn from the Worst." He can be reached at reports@wsj.com. A competent work Developing a personnel’s competence and transferring an organization’s quiet knowledge to new workers requires continuous training. Prewise’s expertise, customer-specifically tailored or standard training contents, as well as efficient tools, offer a sound basis for the systematic improvement of skills and know-how. Single training contents are not enough to counter the challenge. We emphasize the continuity of activities and the creation of new courses of action in which levels of competence are measured and systematically developed toward set target levels. er is a more efficient worker There are many incompetent people in the world. We haunted by the fear that he might be one of them. A professor worries about this because, according to research, most incompetent people do not know that they are incompetent. On the contrary. People who do things badly, found in studies are usually supremely confident of their abilities -- more confident, in fact, than people who do things well. " One reason that the ignorant also tend to be the blissfully self-assured is that the skills required for competence often are the same skills necessary to recognize competence. The incompetent, therefore, suffer doubly, they suggested in a paper appearing in the December issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it," wrote Kruger,

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