Believe it or not, my clients don’t always come to me for advice on how to get out of a crack of some kind. Occasionally, they just need a sounding board. Jessica Stillman’s recent post Are Your Bad Co-Workers Killing You? reminded me of a client lunch I had several weeks ago. The post talks about how employees should flee a bad work environment because it is caustic to your health. My client was experiencing a similar problem surrounded around one particular employee we’ll call “Bob” to protect the identity of the guilty.
Bob was a model worker. He was efficient, hard working, and a total a**hole. My client was conflicted about how to deal with Bob. From a management standpoint, he could use more like Bob. Unfortunately, Bob was also a rude and mean spirited person who would throw Bambi under the bus if he thought it might help him. Bob was making life for my client’s other 10 employees absolutely miserable.
Having no “official” reason to get rid of Bob, my client was perplexed at the thought of letting him go and afraid of some kind of wrongful termination claim if he fired an employee with otherwise good performance evaluations. Without hesitation, I told my client to go back to the office and cut that cancer right out of his life.
I get to say this about once a week: “You can fire an employee for good reason, bad reason, or no reason.” Don’t be afraid to get rid of an employee who creates problems in your workplace just because they are good on paper. After they are gone, document the issue (perhaps throwing in a couple of employee statements to that effect) and close the file . . .