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  • Ethics: When do you draw the line?
    By !DOGgie October 15, 2000, 11:45 AM

    In everyday circumstances, at home and at work, a system of unspoken ethics and morals are always existent (i.e. keeping yourself clothed in front of coworkers...) But now and then, you will find yourself in a situation where one responsibility of yours will interfere with your own ethical beliefs. Specifically, at work. What would you do if you were a boss at a small business, and found yourself needing to fire an employee because he was not helping the company move forward. However, you knew that this employee had several out-of-work problems to deal with, and truly needed the pay from the job. What would you do: fire him, or keep him?

    [!DOG]UGLYman http://ut.ngworldstats.com/fcgi-bin/Display?gt=UT&gm=all&uid=1872447&page=m&view=p

    By sww October 15, 2000, 01:33 PM

    First, I'd talk to the employee and explain that he wasn't meeting the company's goals for him. His performance may increase considerably. (This also covers your ass in case of wrongful termination suit.) If his performance doesn't improve, you have to let him go regardless of his personal problems.

    By PDR60 October 15, 2000, 01:40 PM

    An interesting dilema. I was confronted with this same situationabout a year ago. The solution I came up with was to have a very frank and honest discussion with the employee away from work. We went out for a steak dinner and just talked. As it turned out the employee knew that he was a drag on the company and his impending devorce was a big problem. Well to make a long story short he is still with the company and has become a very integral pat of the organization.
    Sometimes as the boss we have to think about employees needs (I hate to say this) first. But if you can see the potential within the person to overcome the present problem and come through for the better, hten it will benifit the company in the long run. By standing by the employee and helping him/her through these type of problems you build LOYALTY. That person will walk through fire for you on down the road. However the employee needs to be aware of your concerns and you both need to come to an understanding about the present situation. Atime limit needs to be set and regular talks need to be happening. I don't mean scheduled discussions but spontanious talks. Most people want to contribute to the companies success not be a drag on it. Its up to you as the boss to take the time to build your employee relationships in order to make the company successful. I was always taught that " If you take care of your people, they will take care of your buisness". Think about it. Is it better to take an already trained employee and work with him or is it better to fire him/her and start from ground zero? Also don't forget the cost of training a new employee as compared to working through the present situation.

    Just some thoughts. Good luck and let us know.

    By sww October 15, 2000, 02:36 PM

    I agree wholeheartedly. I should have given a more thorough reponse, but I was trying to be brief. Yours is an excellent response to this question.

    By !DOGgie October 15, 2000, 03:26 PM

    Thank you both for your helpful input. However, this topic was not meant for my own personal interests, but instead for a close friend of mine. I'm sure he'll appreciate your thoughts. Thanks again.

    !DOG

    By gaffo October 15, 2000, 09:33 PM

    i would keep him - but i'd make a terrible boss, and am too nice to ever even become one. i honestly beleive ethics and job promotion (boss) is mutually exclusive. a good boos would ignore ethic a fire the guy (soley based on impact of company). the "Boss-type" person is one with no honor nor ethics - and i don't even wish to be a boss knowing this. for to Be the best you can be" (to steal a phrase) requires one to have honor,compassion and justice. these three traits hinder promotion, and are counted to the "salesman/spokesman" mentallity capitalist societies demand WRT job promotions. rem. jesus and ghanbi (two honourable and rightious men) would both be terrible bosses and would be fired early in their work careers for being too honest, objective, and nice. good question you asked - i love these ethical/thinker type questions!

    By Tank October 16, 2000, 10:31 PM

    I disagree. I don't think being a boss means that you're an unethical person with no honor. On the contrary, you have a moral obligation to your company, your boss (even if you're a boss, you usually still have someone to answer to), and to the shareholders. If a person has poor performance and you turn a blind eye to it, you're basically costing the company money.

    So as someone else said, you give them a talking to. Essentially a verbal warning letting them know where you stand and where they stand. If they don't improve, then they need to be replaced. If you ignore it, you're no better than your lousy employee and therefore you both should be replaced by people who can get things done. The fact that the person has other problems is irrelevant. I understand that sometimes people have issues outside their sphere of control, but should the company, other workers, and shareholders pay for that? I think not. By the way, in case I come across as cold, I do have compassion. I just don't let it cloud my vision to what I know to be right.

    That's why the Japanese have done so well in the latter half of the century. While Zeke and his brother Bubba were doing their best to make a lousy car, the Japanese were working their asses off. If the company did poorly, the workers were ashamed. They don't need motivation, they have pride in what they do. Here in America, the only motivation Bubba can come up with is that he needs a raise. His better performance will last a week or so, then he's back boozing it up on a work night.

    And personally I think Jesus would make a great boss. Only his talk would be a little different. "Brother, thou art a snake in the grass. Go unto Jerusalem and bust thine ass so that thou may be a productive member of society lest I send you to the lake of fire for all eternity". Something along those lines...

    Ghandi on the other hand would make a lousy boss. Always sitting down on the job!

    As always, my .02 pesos worth.

    -Tank

    By nerf October 17, 2000, 02:02 AM

    jezz, thats tough. my wife say keep him, but i say fire his ass. let me explain. as a manager/owner your first obligation is to the business, not to you, your employees but the business. if you see the business as a person and not a cash generating machine it easier to see. its easy to make excuses for why an individual is not performing (dog ate my homework) but who suffers. if this person drove a co truck into the side of a school bus while drunk on the job, and you knew he was an alcoholic prone to drinking during work hrs, guess who liable? you bub. i would have a talk with the emp in question and tell them in very clear language what was the precieved problem and what was to be expected and a time with which to change things. i would then give them a week off with pay in order to get a head start and when they returned be ready to work.
    Nerf

    By !DOGgie October 17, 2000, 04:54 PM

    Interesting points, I'll be sure to tell my friend about your helpful ideas.

    [!DOG]UGLYman

    By lobsta21 October 17, 2000, 06:17 PM

    when I'm fired I usually get a couple weeks pay and a good reference,cause I threaten to sue. Office politics and lousy bosses, what a mess. worked so far, but have lived in my car occasionaly, I have scruples.

    By PDR60 October 17, 2000, 07:10 PM

    quote:Originally posted by lobsta21:
    when I'm fired I usually get a couple weeks pay and a good reference,cause I threaten to sue. Office politics and lousy bosses, what a mess. worked so far, but have lived in my car occasionaly, I have scruples.


    When I get fired????!!!! GEEEZZ! I have never been fired! Beside I never fire anyone; they fire themselves. I just am there to deliver the message. Some employees have a misconception that they are "owed" a job. I guess i approach work differently. I try to do my best everyday. Sometimes its hard but I do try. I feel that while I'm at work I owe it to my emploier to give them an honest days work

    By lobsta21 October 18, 2000, 06:36 AM

    quote:Originally posted by PDR60:

    When I get fired????!!!! GEEEZZ! I have never been fired! Beside I never fire anyone; they fire themselves. I just am there to deliver the message. Some employees have a misconception that they are "owed" a job. I guess i approach work differently. I try to do my best everyday. Sometimes its hard but I do try. I feel that while I'm at work I owe it to my emploier to give them an honest days work


    I am owed respect in the workplace
    I am owed the chance to learn my job intricities(sic)
    I am owed a Boss who actually realizes that he has People(not resources) working for him
    I am owed the opportunity to create
    I am owed the understanding that I am different than the previous person who had my job
    When Management screws up I am owed to be told so I can help or submit my resume' instead of being downsized out the door, tripping over the ceo's Mercedes
    The company will get a solid worker, which they are owed.

    hoe to handle an employee

    By BloodRed October 18, 2000, 06:50 AM

    quote:Originally posted by lobsta21:

    I am owed respect in the workplace
    I am owed the chance to learn my job intricities(sic)
    I am owed a Boss who actually realizes that he has People(not resources) working for him
    I am owed the opportunity to create
    I am owed the understanding that I am different than the previous person who had my job
    When Management screws up I am owed to be told so I can help or submit my resume' instead of being downsized out the door, tripping over the ceo's Mercedes
    The company will get a solid worker, which they are owed.

    hoe to handle an employee

    That clears things up a bit. If you go to work everyday with the idea that you are 'owed' anything, I can see why you get fired. Replace the phrase "I am owed" with "I will earn" and you may get somewhere in life.

    By Althor October 18, 2000, 09:49 AM

    quote:Originally posted by lobsta21:
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by PDR60:
    [b]
    When I get fired????!!!! GEEEZZ! I have never been fired! Beside I never fire anyone; they fire themselves. I just am there to deliver the message. Some employees have a misconception that they are "owed" a job. I guess i approach work differently. I try to do my best everyday. Sometimes its hard but I do try. I feel that while I'm at work I owe it to my emploier to give them an honest days work


    I am owed respect in the workplace
    I am owed the chance to learn my job intricities(sic)
    I am owed a Boss who actually realizes that he has People(not resources) working for him
    I am owed the opportunity to create
    I am owed the understanding that I am different than the previous person who had my job
    When Management screws up I am owed to be told so I can help or submit my resume' instead of being downsized out the door, tripping over the ceo's Mercedes
    The company will get a solid worker, which they are owed.

    hoe to handle an employee

    [/B][/QUOTE]

    If that's what you really think, then hope, that you'll never wake up to reality!
    With this attitude, you won't get very far.
    And you won't do yourself any favor with that.

    By nerf October 18, 2000, 05:15 PM

    ive always had trouble working for other, and yes have been laid off. your not owed anything, if your lazy go work for the county, drive a yugo and life will be great. i had to start my own business so i could piss myself off. i am not an easy guy to work for, but i do reward results and will bend over backwards to support anyone making the effort. ill fire just as fast if you screw me, and everyone knows it. you get out what you put in. all a good employer has to be is fare, the same should be expected of those who want a paycheck.
    Nerf

    By gaffo October 19, 2000, 03:11 AM

    i wish employees could pick thier employers. many bosses are asses - seems to be in their nature. count yourself lucky if your boss a good and fair man, and not an arrogant, hypocritical back-biter.

    By !DOGgie October 19, 2000, 05:37 PM

    quote:Originally posted by gaffo:
    i wish employees could pick thier employers. many bosses are asses - seems to be in their nature. count yourself lucky if your boss a good and fair man, and not an arrogant, hypocritical back-biter.

    Hmm, interesting analysis. I'll be sure to make sure my friend, which is what this forum post was supposed to help, wll keep that in mind when he does his job. Thanks to anyone who has spent his/her time in this forum.


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