Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why Would You Want An Employee To Fail?

"No!" Seth said.  "I want him in a position where I can hold him accountable for his failures."

John, the department manager, looked at Seth, the office manager, with a puzzled look on his face.

"You asked us to come up with a proposal to streamline the process and make it easier on everyone.  We discussed this as a team and divided responsibilities up based on each person's strengths and what they prefer doing," John said.

"If you put Ryan in that position, he'll succeed.  I want him in a position where he can fail and I can hold him accountable for his failure," replied Seth.

"You mean so you can fire him?"

"If that's what it comes to."

Seth wasn't interested in matching employees with their strengths.  Or helping the department be successful.  He was interested in one thing and that was making sure that Ryan failed so he could terminate him.

Ryan wasn't a bad employee.  It was a personality conflict.  Seth didn't like Ryan and didn't want to work with him.  His solution was to put him in a position where he could be terminated for being unable to do the job well.

There was a problem with this plan.  Word quickly spread among the other members of the team that Seth was targeting Ryan.  That caused employees to ask a question- Who else does he want to get rid of?

Your job as a manager is to use the strengths of your employee to do the best, most efficient job you can.  Using your position to hamstring an employee simply so you can terminate them is not only bad form, unethical, and possibly illegal, it does a couple of other things as well.

It ruins morale and it destroys both your credibility as a manager and your ability to lead.  Why would someone do their best for a manager they know, or suspect, is targeting them?

How does it affect your bottom line?