Here are just a few of the comments and situations that you sent into us:
Peter from www.betapak.co.uk wrote:
Many employees of short and long service are extremely loyal – they will go the extra mile, help beyond the basic minimum of the job requirements. They add value to their employer in various ways - these are the ones who can be relied on. That, to me, is loyalty.
This may or may not be found in long service employees. In some cases they can be clock watching “do the minimum” employees, who know all the tricks of how to get the most out of an employer whilst giving least back, and who may well be slowing down as they approach retirement. There are also the experienced, helpful, flexible workers who are rocks within a workforce. Simple length of service does not differentiate between the two.
Further, if long service employees (who by definition must be older employees – a 25 year old cannot have 20 years’ service) are given favourable treatment, this may well be in breach of age discrimination laws.
Other readers wrote:
We had this situation about 3 years ago. The employee had been with us for a number of years and always performed well. However, it was noticed by management that her performance was deteriorating. We decided to monitor the situation and kept a record of all the incidences that occurred during a 4 week period. The employee was then invited to a meeting to discuss these incidences and agree how we would proceed. We requested permission to contact her GP for a medical report which she agreed to. The outcome of the medical didn’t really support what we were experiencing in the workplace reinforcing the employee’s view that there wasn’t anything wrong! We referred her to occupational health which helped up to a point as it also involved some counseling. The mistakes continued however. In the end we didn’t feel that we could continue to ‘carry’ this employee and we came to the very difficult decision that we had to go down the capability route. In the end it was agreed that she would be able to leave without notice but still be paid for her notice period.
It was an emotional and difficult situation for all concerned however; business needs have to prevail in the end as you still owe a duty to other employees who may be disadvantaged by the performance of one individual. We certainly felt at the end of the process (it took about 9 months altogether) that we had done as much as could and were left with no other option.
Additionally another view we received was:
I suspect the great majority of companies would opt for the tried and tested “re-structuring” ploy to remove the incumbent. Personally I see that option as stereotypical of the “throw away” attitude that is so prevalent in business.
If you have kept an individual on staff for 20 years they must have been doing something right. If you have carried dead wood for that long you HR and Management need the 'push' not the individual. Staff rarely just fall back for no reason, over a short space of time. I believe the options of siphoning off all those years of experience into training and advising the new younger individuals is of far greater benefit.
Another comment stated:
Oh how your point about loyalty and performance hit a nerve with me. I have a guy that had been with our business since the day we started (now into our 9th year) His wealth of knowledge, experience and customer database was a huge help to us whilst we were setting the business up. The issue we have is that when he agreed to join us we were in some respects on the back foot, we were starting up a new business and everything we needed he could offer; almost allowing him to dictate the package he wanted. After some negotiation we agreed on a package and away we went. Over the years the business has grown and we now have a team of 5 guys all doing the same as the guy in question.
The problem I have stems back to the when we first employed him. Part of his package means he gets paid sick leave and over the last 2 years he really seems to be milking this. Recently his time off for sickness has got worse. It’s always a day here and a day there, nothing that means he has to produce a sick note. Now I know I can’t bring his age into this but he’s no spring chicken, he has a poor diet and takes no exercise. I know that what he does out of work isn’t my business but in some respects I think it is.
All the other guys on the team can see that his sales figures have stagnated and have done for the last couple of years. When questioned about it he remarks that it’s down to the economy. This doesn’t stack up because all the other guys on the team have shown growth and in some cases huge growth. We end up going round and round in circles and nothing ever gets sorted out and I am at my wits end with him.
Another factor also stems back to when we first did his contract. We knew how much business he was going to bring to the table from day one and agreed to him being on a good salary. Basically over the last few years his figures have remained stagnant, he’s argumentative and is inevitably off 2 or 3 days a month sick. We monitor all our sales guys call rates and it’s proven that the more calls they make the more business they do, he’s always at the bottom of the pile.
At the end of the day if he was truly loyal to us he wouldn’t coast along and let his performance drop, so why should be loyal to him in return if the business suffers?
We would like to thank everyone who sent responses in, your contributions were very welcome and any comments to future issues of The Bottom Line Express are much appreciated. If you have any further queries; please contact us on 0844 892 2772.