However, this article looks at the less popular but equally (if not more) important issue of dealing with problem employees. You know the type, they always miss deadlines, refuse to take on any more than they absolutely have to, and ultimately drain the motivation and productivity of the whole team.
Research conducted last year by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Cornerstone OnDemand revealed that, replacing a problem worker generated almost four times the value of hiring a top performer. According to the research, replacing a toxic employee with an average one produces almost €13,000 in cost savings. Even super star employees – those in the top one percent of all workers – only bring an extra $5,300 in value by doing more work than the average employee, which just demonstrates the necessity of paying attention to both ends of the employee spectrum.
Firing an employee – even a blatantly negative one – is a difficult process and, despite your best efforts can still damage team morale. Before deciding if a problem worker should go, I would always recommend addressing the issue head-on in a bid to correct their behaviour. Quite often, with a little support and the right approach, these heel-draggers can become your biggest heroes. The infographic below, courtesy of cloud communication company GetVoIP, helps describe some of the most common toxic employees and offers tips on how to deal with them.
If you do find yourself in a situation where there’s no other option but to go down the route of terminating an employee’s contract then ensure you follow your company’s policies and procedures to the dot, otherwise you may find yourself before the employment equality tribunal for unfair dismissal.
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David Bell is Managing Director of The HR Department, outsourced human resources specialists for Irish SMEs.