Author Topic: Is this bad business or good sense....  (Read 5775 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5526
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2013, 10:07:09 PM »
The situaiont describes knowing and looking for the replacement before letting the person know they will be let go.  To me that smacks of dishonesty and would not be inconsequential to me as a customer.  The fact that they approached it this way strikes me as not fully on the up and up and if they are that way with workers then I am not sure I trust them with my business.  If they know they plan they to get rid of an employee and they start looking for a replacement because it is in their best interest, but don't do the courtesy of letting the employee know - especially in this economy so the employee has a chance to start to see to their interests, it just seems underhanded. it makes me wonder if they would deal with customers and other businesses in the same manner.

So every place that I have worked has had a system in place where a person is not told that they would be fired once that inevitable. (They may be warned or they may have a very good idea or be on notice but they would not have the final decision).
Once they are fired, they are instantly escorted out of the building. No-one would be kept on and working.

So to me, it seems sensible that you would line up an replacement employee before you actually fire the other person because you never would have the employee aware of his or her firing until the moment that it happens.

Hillia

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3935
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2013, 10:20:14 PM »
This is an interesting discussion.  My work history has been either in state government or large companies, and in both cases we were not allowed to post a position until the incumbent is gone.  Positions allow one occupant at a time, and the position isn't empty and eligible for a new occupant until the first is completely gone.  So positions weren't even posted until empty, and we made do the best we could with one person short.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

Ceallach

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4759
    • This Is It
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2013, 11:40:11 PM »
Let's say this is a restaurant or something along those lines.  I am looking for a venue or somebody to cater an event.  They have gotten rid of somebody I know in this matter.  I hear the story.  To me this seems to reflect a bit of dishonesty on how they deal with what is going on.  If they are not up front with their employees can I trust them to be up front with their customers?  Might they shine me on too?  Maybe it is best not to risk it.

That assumes you have an accurate understanding of the situation, which is highly unlikely because you are not privy to internal supervision or disciplinary processes at that organisation.   I think assuming that the person has been mistreated based on hearsay is not a very nice thing to do.   Unless it's consistent with your own interactions with that organisation or that manager, it's best to give the benefit of the doubt IMHO.

Many times as a senior member of staff I know other staff who think a person has been treated unfairly, again because *they* are not privy to all of the details.  And Ted who seems like such a great bloke might be doing something very inappropriate or may be significantly underperforming in ways that other staff and clients don't observe.  Due to privacy reasons we can't always tell the general staff what's really going on as it would be unfair and unkind to "Ted" to spread around how he's underperforming or that his job is at risk, even when we're having extensive conversations with him and trying to work with him to address the problems.   We have to balance the information we share appropriately.  So it's entirely possible that from the outside something may seem unfair but has really been handled well.   

Sadly I've also worked with some shockingly poor SS's (where other staff all know it too) who even after exhausting every last chance and finally being terminated, are so delusional they will badmouth the company far and wide, convinced that they've been mistreated, even when they haven't done a lick of work, misused company resources, harassed other employees and all sorts of other things that fully justified the sacking.  So again, I take such gripes with a grain of salt.  Some of the nicest people I know aren't the best of workers, so again even if it was somebody I knew personally I would still not be 100% convinced based on their word alone that they'd been screwed over.
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8453
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 03:22:53 AM »

For a catering business, I could see this being a disaster.

The business needs to fire X for cause. Maybe they're incompetent, maybe they're unreliable, maybe they're dishonest, maybe they're good at their job, but are nasty to other employees, or rude to the customers.   But X does a job that is essential to the business, and requires specific skills (ie, you can't just get another random employee to sub for them).

X is fired, then the business posts a job ad, so as to not hurt X's feelings. However, they've still got their usual list of catering events scheduled, so during the period they are finding a replacement specialist, they have to either provide substandard service, or cancel contracts. I suspect that as far as the company reputation goes, being seen as mean for firing an employee after lining up a replacement is a better bet than being seen as incompetent and unreliable for not providing contracted services at a reasonable quality level.

Plus, X is probably still going around badmouthing the company, only now it's just "They fired me for no reason and with no warning!" rather than "They fired me for no reason and no warning and had already lined up my replacement!"

I would also be wary of making judgements about a company's competence and morality  based on third hand stories, or solely on the word of a disgruntled ex-employee. As others have said, it can be hard to get an accurate assessment of a situation from a biased participant. People who have just been fired for cause generally don't go around saying they deserved it, actually. And people can be really nice and good friends (or simply have a good public face) and still be bad employees.



 

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6372
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 07:55:51 AM »
The situaiont describes knowing and looking for the replacement before letting the person know they will be let go.  To me that smacks of dishonesty and would not be inconsequential to me as a customer.  The fact that they approached it this way strikes me as not fully on the up and up and if they are that way with workers then I am not sure I trust them with my business.  If they know they plan they to get rid of an employee and they start looking for a replacement because it is in their best interest, but don't do the courtesy of letting the employee know - especially in this economy so the employee has a chance to start to see to their interests, it just seems underhanded. it makes me wonder if they would deal with customers and other businesses in the same manner.

Do you believe an employee is obligated to notify there employer before looking for a new job? If you were interviewing a person currently employed would you see them as dishonest if they told you they had not notified their employer that they were looking for other work?

As others have pointed out, if an employee is being released for just reasons, I would be very suprised they did not realize their job was at risk.  I'm not talking about unethical termination like firing a 20 yr employee so you can hire someone younger at a lower rate.  But in my corporate experience, those actions are very rare because we are lawsuit adverse.  So with this post I am assuming the OP is justified in their need to release the employee.


Kiara

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2570
    • My dragons!
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2013, 10:00:53 AM »
This is an interesting discussion.  My work history has been either in state government or large companies, and in both cases we were not allowed to post a position until the incumbent is gone.  Positions allow one occupant at a time, and the position isn't empty and eligible for a new occupant until the first is completely gone.  So positions weren't even posted until empty, and we made do the best we could with one person short.

Same here, and we're a private firm.  Nothing gets posted unless it's actually a vacant position.

Snooks

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2410
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2013, 03:58:23 PM »
I think this might be regional because where I live I suspect the person in the job would have grounds for legal action if that happened.

I'm asking this sincerely.  What would the grounds be for legal action pursued by the person already holding the position?

Constructive dismissal.  I suspect you'd be heading straight for a tribunal.

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8065
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 04:02:02 PM »
I think this might be regional because where I live I suspect the person in the job would have grounds for legal action if that happened.

I'm asking this sincerely.  What would the grounds be for legal action pursued by the person already holding the position?

Constructive dismissal.  I suspect you'd be heading straight for a tribunal.

I'm quite embarrassed to admit this, but I don't know what 'constructive dismissal' actually means.   :-[

onyonryngs

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 362
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 04:07:00 PM »
It's smart business sense.  It's a good idea to have someone on the bench ready to fill in when you decide that you need to let go your mediocre place holder.  The only time I ever see someone let go immediately is when they've done something illegal themselves or cost the business money or clients.

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12259
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2013, 04:12:53 PM »
I think this might be regional because where I live I suspect the person in the job would have grounds for legal action if that happened.

I'm asking this sincerely.  What would the grounds be for legal action pursued by the person already holding the position?

Constructive dismissal.  I suspect you'd be heading straight for a tribunal.

I'm quite embarrassed to admit this, but I don't know what 'constructive dismissal' actually means.   :-[



In a nutshell - it means making the current employee so miserable that he/she will resign, as opposed to firing him/her.

Naturally the legal definitions are much more elaborate, but we don't want this thread to get locked.

Overall, I agree with PPs who say that this is simply good business sense.  And no employee should ever be surprised to be fired due to incompetence.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2013, 04:31:06 PM »
This is an interesting discussion.  My work history has been either in state government or large companies, and in both cases we were not allowed to post a position until the incumbent is gone.  Positions allow one occupant at a time, and the position isn't empty and eligible for a new occupant until the first is completely gone.  So positions weren't even posted until empty, and we made do the best we could with one person short.

Same here, and we're a private firm.  Nothing gets posted unless it's actually a vacant position.

For me its pretty much the total opposite.  I think most of my jobs have been me entering a position for someone who is leaving but who hasn't left yet.  Sometimes its because the employee quit and it working out their 2 weeks, sometimes its because the employee is about to be let go.  But I have always been stepping into a filled role just as the other was stepping out.

It never struck me as unethical or threatening to me or rude.  As others have pointed out employees can look for work without announcing it, and so can employers.  And really how is the employee going to find out if they themselves aren't looking, and therefore probably about to jump ship anyway? But mostly just because its business.  Its not friendship. It makes good business sense to have a role filled even somewhat incompetently then not at all, and hiring the right candidate takes times.  So as a boss you decide "ok we'll get our 50% effort out of this for now and search for our 100% candidate" rather then "hmmm lets get 0% work done now and rush into the first seemingly appropriate hire and hope they can do 100%".

Quite frankly I can't imagine what I'd think about job that had just been sitting empty or a while... I'd think it was pretty unimportant and easy probably, or perhaps miserable and hard to fill, or had something wrong with it causing it to be able to be unfilled for any amount of time. 

Ceallach

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4759
    • This Is It
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2013, 06:28:23 PM »
I think this might be regional because where I live I suspect the person in the job would have grounds for legal action if that happened.

I'm asking this sincerely.  What would the grounds be for legal action pursued by the person already holding the position?

Constructive dismissal.  I suspect you'd be heading straight for a tribunal.

Um, that's making a lot of assumptions about what's going on internally at the organisation.     

Commencing hiring processes does not = failing to follow correct termination or disciplinary processes.   The two processes can be conducted at the same time.     Yes, if they hire a replacement and put them in place as part of trying to push the incumbent out that's a whole different situation, but that wasn't the question that was asked.     Hiring takes time, and in my experience even when hiring is started early in the process there's still a gap in between when the previous person is ultimately terminated and when an offer is made to a replacement.
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2013, 09:52:25 PM »
I think this might be regional because where I live I suspect the person in the job would have grounds for legal action if that happened.

I'm asking this sincerely.  What would the grounds be for legal action pursued by the person already holding the position?

Constructive dismissal.  I suspect you'd be heading straight for a tribunal.

Um, that's making a lot of assumptions about what's going on internally at the organisation.     

Commencing hiring processes does not = failing to follow correct termination or disciplinary processes.   The two processes can be conducted at the same time.     Yes, if they hire a replacement and put them in place as part of trying to push the incumbent out that's a whole different situation, but that wasn't the question that was asked.     Hiring takes time, and in my experience even when hiring is started early in the process there's still a gap in between when the previous person is ultimately terminated and when an offer is made to a replacement.

What Ceallach is describing is what I meant by the treatment of the employee and whether or not to search for a replacement being different issues.  If you as an employer need to have someone ready to start if a person is fired, then the fact is that you need to start looking before you fire the employee.  Whether you start that process before or after, you still have certain standards which should be followed (which will of course vary from workplace to workplace) during the process of firing the employee.

Ceallach

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4759
    • This Is It
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2013, 09:57:39 PM »
I think this might be regional because where I live I suspect the person in the job would have grounds for legal action if that happened.

I'm asking this sincerely.  What would the grounds be for legal action pursued by the person already holding the position?

Constructive dismissal.  I suspect you'd be heading straight for a tribunal.

Um, that's making a lot of assumptions about what's going on internally at the organisation.     

Commencing hiring processes does not = failing to follow correct termination or disciplinary processes.   The two processes can be conducted at the same time.     Yes, if they hire a replacement and put them in place as part of trying to push the incumbent out that's a whole different situation, but that wasn't the question that was asked.     Hiring takes time, and in my experience even when hiring is started early in the process there's still a gap in between when the previous person is ultimately terminated and when an offer is made to a replacement.

What Ceallach is describing is what I meant by the treatment of the employee and whether or not to search for a replacement being different issues.  If you as an employer need to have someone ready to start if a person is fired, then the fact is that you need to start looking before you fire the employee.  Whether you start that process before or after, you still have certain standards which should be followed (which will of course vary from workplace to workplace) during the process of firing the employee.

Exactly!   Two very separate processes and separate issues. 
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


cheyne

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1046
Re: Is this bad business or good sense....
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2013, 09:31:04 AM »
I am a manager who hires/fires.  No employee in any business I've worked for (36 years in the workforce) has ever been fired without knowing they were going to be or at least on very thin ice.

As a manager, I agonize over firing an employee.  There are weeks/months of verbal counseling, letters of counseling, letters of reprimand, PIP's*, meetings etc...all documented of course.  Letting an employee go is a big deal and very few managers want to do it, but there are times it is necessary.

For an example, Joe is having problems getting his job done.  He was verbally counseled on Oct 1, verbally counseled with a letter on Oct 15, given a letter of reprimand and more counseling on 1 Nov and put on a 12 week PIP on 15 Nov.  It is now 15 Jan and there is no improvement in Joe's work.  It is time for me to start the hiring process for Joe's job.  Joe has had 3.5 months to improve his work and has not done it.  I don't think Joe is being unfairly discharged at this point, but I have to allow the 12 weeks to run out before I can let him go.

*A PIP is a Personal Improvement Plan.  These are highly individualized for each person.  Each step is gone over at the initial meeting and the person is counseled by the boss every week to see where they are improving and not.  These are extremely "hands on" for a boss, and are not done for small infractions.