Keeping A Below Standard Employee


When speaking with a group of managers recently, I asked what were their top employee issues.  I was very surprised that many of these managers responded with “questionable employee integrity.”  I quickly asked them “why would you keep an employee if you questioned their integrity?”

After listening to a few of the manager’s reasons, I asked them again “why would you keep an employee if you questioned their integrity?”

Frankly, they could not give me what I thought was a good answer, but these were a few of the answers they gave me:

  • They are a friend of the boss or another employee.
  • We don’t have anyone to replace them.
  • We cannot spend the time it takes to look for and hire another employee who may be the same.
  • They have been at the job a long time, and they really need their job.
  • They are good with customers, we just do not let them handle any tasks that deal with money.
  • We give them tasks that are not too involved with important things that need to be done because they never seem to care if they were done correctly.

(A separate blog could be written about each of the excuses above)

None of these answers sounded like a good reason to keep an employee that you did not trust their integrity. I know it is hard to fire someone and then have to look for another employee.  The stress and hassles that go with training, and possibly rehiring and training again are tough on a business, yet they are necessary at times.

I just could not wrap my mind around the idea that it was “okay” to keep an employee who was far below the expected standards of the business.  One thing that managers and business owners need to realize when they keep a “below standard employee” is that they are showing the other employees that the standards, even though they are set, do not have to be kept.

WOW!  What does that translate to?

Business owners are paying good money for a poor employee when they could be paying the same money for an awesome employee who really wants to do a good job.

It would seem that the answer to what to do with an employee with questionable integrity would be an easy one, but apparently from what these managers said it is not.

What would you do in this situation?  I know what I would do and quickly.

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