Dead When Hired or Did You Kill Them?

Managers can often be heard complaining about their
employees relative to such issues as productivity, poor
attitude, not paying attention to details, failure to
anticipate change, etc.

Whenever a manager goes through this narrative regarding
employees, a good question to ask the manager is, “Were
the employees dead when you hired them, or did you kill
them?”

HR POINTER: Before you begin complaining about what
employees do or don’t do, analyze your own role and the
organization’s role in the issue.

Generally, one of four things is in play when it comes to
employee performance:

#1 The organization has a hiring process that fails to
adequately vet a candidate for a position and the new
employee was DOA (dead on arrival).

#2 The organization and/or department culture (written and
unwritten policies and practices, manager interpersonal
skills, etc.) operates in a manner that tends to suck the
“life-blood” out of an otherwise good employee and
generally “kills” a new employee’s enthusiasm and work
ethic within 6 months.

#3 The business does not have an effective performance
monitoring program that acts as an early warning system to
catch employee performance problems.

#4 The employee has truly changed as a result of personal
problems unrelated to employment.

Items #1, #2, and #3 are controllable. Item #4 is
uncontrollable, but fixable if caught in time with an
“early warning system.”

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