How Employees Fail #3: Integrity

25 Jan

Managers occasionally discover an employee telling untruths, cheating or stealing, confront them and discover more issues.  In most of these cases, unless there are credible mitigating circumstances, the employee is fired.  In some, the manager has given the person yet another chance, unfortunately most of these second chances result in further problems.

There is an important principle here:

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

When people engage in the above actions they are far out on the continuum of inappropriate behavior and have probably been doing these things for some time.

Another key idea:

“Habits are cobwebs and grow into cables”

In this situation the manger must make a difficult decision.  Second chances occasionally work, but do they work if the behavior is practiced and how can you assess this?  Three important questions:

1. How long has this been occurring?

2. What is the magnitude of the issue?

3. Has this had an effect on customers?

In this situation you have to balance the needs of the company against the needs of the individual who has transgressed in a serious manner.  Next week – how to strike this balance.

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