Author Topic: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)  (Read 7116 times)

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Deetee

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2013, 01:42:19 PM »
I agree with the suggestion to talk to the boss beforehand to give him a heads up on what you plan to write. I also suggest that you ask for copies of your previous reviews of the employee so you can refer to the previous unresolved issues and what you have tried to do for training. It will help show this is an ongoing problem.

cheyne

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2013, 05:07:47 PM »
Go to Bossman and let him know that you are writing M's review in such a way as justification to fire her.  It sounds like you have covered for M under the guise of "training" for a couple of years, and Bossman doesn't understand how much of a liability M is.  By talking to Bossman first he will not be blindsided by M's very poor performance report, and he may have some good suggestions for the report itself.

IMO with your update about M and D and the shipping area, I think that you are not being direct enough with M.  She should not be wandering around other work areas like a bored toddler.  You need to be firmer in telling her what to do.  If she is supposed to be in QC, you direct her back to QC with, "M, I need you to get back to work in QC.  D and I do not need your help, I have no time to train you and I expect you to get back to work now."*  Do not take "No" or "I want to be trained in XXX" for an answer. 

*Normally I ask my employees to do a task, not tell them.  However, an employee like M needs to be told what to do.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2013, 05:13:48 PM »
Cheyne, I'm similar to you in that I seldom *tell* people what to do but you're right...M keeps wandering off and has to be ordered back on task and I just don't have time for that nonsense.
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MrTango

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2013, 05:35:51 PM »
I'd suggest sticking to the facts in your report.

To make yourself more at ease: Better to be rid of her before her inattentiveness to detail costs her, your, or someone else their life.

Deetee

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2013, 10:18:57 PM »
I agree with the suggestion to talk to the boss beforehand to give him a heads up on what you plan to write. I also suggest that you ask for copies of your previous reviews of the employee so you can refer to the previous unresolved issues and what you have tried to do for training. It will help show this is an ongoing problem.

peaches

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2013, 10:25:36 PM »
I agree with the suggestion to talk to the boss beforehand to give him a heads up on what you plan to write. I also suggest that you ask for copies of your previous reviews of the employee so you can refer to the previous unresolved issues and what you have tried to do for training. It will help show this is an ongoing problem.

POD

I'm a big believer that "bosses don't like surprises". Since what you write will have implications for him, I think it's best to talk to him beforehand.

The emphasis, to me, would be: Worker hasn't improved or grown into the job. She hasn't corrected her weaknesses. Nothing has changed, no reason to think it will. Her performance affects others (their safety and productivity).

HappilyInsane

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2013, 04:16:19 AM »
Cheyne, I'm similar to you in that I seldom *tell* people what to do but you're right...M keeps wandering off and has to be ordered back on task and I just don't have time for that nonsense.

"Does not follow directions"

rashea

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2013, 11:09:02 AM »
It might be useful to include her in the process. Does your company do self-evaluations at all? Can she pinpoint her own strengths and weaknesses.

I also think you need to be more blunt with her in the moment. When she kept bugging you, I think you needed to say, "You need to go do your own job first, and then see me for your next assignment, which will not be shipping."
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DavidH

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2013, 01:22:55 PM »
The key is  to write factually without emotion and to be clear. To take two examples from your text: "she has repeatedly forgotten a crucial retaining clip on a certain sub-assembly so that under testing pressure, the person doing the testing has nearly been badly injured by a part getting shot out because it had no retaining clip on).  We have soft hose that we cut to custom lengths; I've shown her several times, as have other people, how to cut it straight, instead of cutting it crooked, then trying to straighten the crooked cut by "trimming" the hose.  Yet I'll see her having cut several pieces of hose crookedly and she is surrounded by a mountain of hose trimmings.   That's quite a bit of wastage.  We keep telling her if she is cutting the hose properly, there is no need for trimming; she keeps insisting it's the end result that matters and her cut pieces are fine.  We keep pointing out how much she wastes a)by trimming and b) because the pieces she has trimmed bits off of are now too short"

I'd start with a summary and then move to examples:

X consistently shows a lack of attention to detail and despite repeated training is unable to master the basic tasks required for the job.  Her continued lack of improvement suggests to me that additional training is not likely to improve the situation.  Following are specific examples:

X has been trained to assemble Y by Z on MM,DD,YYYY, yet she repeatedly (X times) has forgotten a crucial retaining clip when assembling this on her own.  This represents a known danger to other employees and during routine testing prior to shipping a part has shot out and come close to injuring the person doing the testing on Y occasions (documented in the following safety incident reports).  On each occasion X was informed of her error and retrained on how to properly assemble Y. 

X has been trained to cut soft hoses by Z on MM,DD,YYYY and has not mastered this skill.  Her cuts are consistently off and require additional trimming thus wasting product, requiring additional time, and resulting in an end product that is too short.  She has been informed of this problem multiple time (X times) and retrained on each occasion, yet continues to be unable to master this task.

Ideally you will also be able to add specific dates for her training.

lilfox

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2013, 03:12:45 PM »
I've had to do this before but for peers, not anyone I was a formal supervisor of but people on a team I lead, and it's never fun.

In the one coworker's case, I had worked with him for 1.5 years and just was done.  I did not want him reassigned to my project again.  My manager knew he was a problem employee (his reputation preceded him before he joined our group) so that helped.  In my case I think my manager was using it as a learning experience for me, having to deal with a non-productive team member who challenged my leadership skills (or some such).  So I wrote a pretty blunt but factual summary of his on the job failures to meet expectations and it was not tempered with positive qualities (he was a nice guy but had no work-related positive qualities that I could determine - he had clearly mentally checked out of the job years ago).  He was finally let go shortly after his end-of-year managerial review.

In the OP's case, the employee has gone from "go-getter" to someone who does her job poorly, refuses to learn, and only pays lip service to wanting to expand her skill set.  None of those are qualities worth keeping, particularly if the results of her shoddy work mean inflicting possible danger on others.

DavidH's wording in particular is clear-cut.

MsOverThinker

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2013, 03:56:56 PM »
I have also had to do this before.  Try to be as dispassionate as possible.  We're finally going to get rid of the person, but it basically took years of holding up over-budget projects and missed deadlines before management was inclined to let them go. 

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2013, 08:10:08 PM »
I had a meeting with Bossman this morning, highlighting my concerns.  Somehow magically I was able to keep my emotions out of it (It's really hard to hide that someone is driving you around the twist) then we brought M in. 

We discussed the review I'd written (thank you David H for the awesome wording suggestions) and all the issues I'd brought up.  M, in a surprising act of professional Darwinism, ARGUED with me.  Bossman pointed out that all the issues I was bringing up (with dates where I Could recall them) were serious and legitimate issues.

She's been officially demoted to just cleaning parts, which has its own set of details to be mindful of.  Stuff needs to be cleaned a certain way, parts need to be "lapped" (smoothed out with emery cloth on some faces) and cleaned and dried a certain way, then put away in an organised fashion, in the correct places.  She has a month to master that and if, after the month, I'm not satisfied, she will be let go.

I feel like a real jerk having to have done it, but there are safety and cost issues to bear in mind and those things are part of my job.  As her supervisor, it's also my job to ensure she is doing her job correctly.
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Jocelyn

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2013, 08:48:16 PM »


I feel like a real jerk having to have done it, but there are safety and cost issues to bear in mind 
Don't.
There are two possible explanations:
1. She does not have the abilities needed to do the job. In which case, you would be denying employment to a capable employee, and keeping on doing her work for her, ad infinitum. The best solution is to have her move on to a job that's suited to her abilities, and then offer the job to someone who will do it properly.
2. She has the abilities to do the job, but chooses not to. In which case, SHE has done this to HERSELF.

chibichan

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2013, 08:59:29 PM »
Seriously , don't be hard on yourself . Yes , it stinks to have to fire someone - but this is not a situation of your making . M is not doing the job she is being paid for . She is doing a shoddy job for full pay , which is incredibly unfair to all the employees who put in 100% effort . It degrades morale and costs your company money . It could potentially cost one of your customers their life. The impact of that would be devastating to your business .

I have worked in places where soft-hearted ( spineless / non-confrontational / too-lazy-to-do-the-paperwork ) bosses have let employees like M coast along for years , expecting the others to pick up the slack or fix mistakes .

The resentment among those who pride themselves on their work was immense , to the point that even the best workers would spend their days muttering " Why am I going out of my way to do it right when her half-butt work gets her the same paycheck ? "

I have also met the "No, really - it's fine !" employee . The only thing you can do to get through to this person is to simply state "The company does not agree ." Take yourself totally out of the statement . She does not care what YOU think .

The very fact that she feels it is OK to argue with you is a sign that she has closed her mind to whatever you are trying to tell her and that she believes that she is doing an acceptable job . It is difficult , if not impossible , to change this kind of person .

Do not feel like a jerk for saving your company from needless expenses , a possible poor-morale epidemic and several potential lawsuits .   
The key to avoiding trouble is to learn to recognize it from a distance.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Have to make an unpleasant recommendation (sorry, long)
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2013, 10:20:38 PM »
I'd have more sympathy with M if she acknowledged her short-comings and was making genuine attempts to improve. But the fact she's arguing indicates she's in denial (or worse, has a sense of self-entitlement). As PPs have said, there's nothing much you can do in that case. I thought you handled this really well, OP.