10 Reasons Bad
Employees Don't Get Fired
Have you ever received poor service
from someone you expected should be helping you as part of that person's
job? The answer is almost certainly "yes."
And, if you're like most people, you
have probably also experienced the frustration of working with someone
who made your own job more difficult.
In both cases you may have wondered
"Why don't they just fire this person?"
Firing someone may seem easy in theory,
but it is often a last resort for an employer. A bad employee's supervisor
may know that the employee isn't performing up to snuff, but that supervisor
-- or the company -- may have what they consider to be a good reason for
not firing the employee.
Whenever you encounter someone who
you think deserves to be fired -- either in your own workplace or elsewhere
-- consider if any of the following might be the reason the bad employee
is still on the job:
1. The employee has
a relationship with someone higher up
A relationship doesn't necessarily
have to be romantic or family, although either is a possibility. In many
cases, the relationship that keeps someone from getting fired is friendship.
The bad employee may not perform well on the job, but may be a good golf
or drinking buddy for your boss, or may simply be someone that senior
management enjoys having around the office.
2. The boss relies
on the employee
According to Terence R. Mitchell, Ph.D.,
author of the business text People in Organizations: Understanding Their
Behavior, when a supervisor depends on an employee, the supervisor
is less likely to attribute poor performance to the employee's ability
or attitude, and more likely to attribute the poor performance to forces
beyond the employee's control.
3. The employee brings
more value to the company than he or she costs
Maybe the employee who jokes around
and wastes other employees' time at meetings is also a brilliant worker
whose productivity has resulted in significant revenue for the company.
4. The boss thinks it could
Even if everyone knows the employee
is not pulling their weight, management may fear that a replacement might
do an even worse job. This fear is compounded if the company has previously
had other people perform more poorly in the position.
5. The boss is afraid of
If there are concerns that an employee
might sue the company or possibly become violent if fired, it may take
longer to let that employee go. If there's a threat, the company needs
to consult with legal or security experts and put appropriate measures
in place before letting a bad employee go.
6. The boss feels sorry
for the employee
In such cases, a boss is sympathetic
to the employee, and not to those who the employee's actions may be hurting.
The boss may worry that the employee won't be able to find another job
if fired. If the employee needs the money to support a family, has health
problems, or has recently experienced another life challenge, the boss
may feel it's best to let the employee keep the job.
7. The boss doesn't want
to go through the hiring process
It takes time to review applications,
conduct interviews, check references, and train a new person. Your boss
may believe it's easier to deal with the consequences when the bad employee
messes up rather than deal with hiring a replacement.
8. The employee knows
The employee might know something embarrassing
about the boss, but it's more likely the employee simply knows historical
information that the company needs today. For example, if that employee
is the only one who knows how to operate an ancient piece of equipment
that the company still uses, your employer may need to keep him or her
9. The employee has everybody
In their book Snakes in Suits,
Paul Babiak, Ph.D. and Robert D. Hare, Ph.D., explain that a surprising
number of workplaces employ psychopaths. While psychopaths make up 1% of
the general population, Babiak and Hare found that 3.5% of the executives
they worked with "fit the profile of the psychopath."
Psychopathic employees are pathological
liars who get away with doing little or no work. They charm senior management
with their "leadership potential," con co-workers into covering for them,
and successfully blame others for their mistakes. If you're the only one
who sees what they're up to, you're in a tough spot. Sometimes it's the
whistle-blower who gets fired, not the snake.
10. He or she is not really
a bad employee
So what if a co-worker sometimes works
from home, takes long lunches, or does something else you don't think is
fair - as long as they get the work done. If you're not the employee's
supervisor, you're not personally affected, and the employee is not hurting
anyone such as customers or co-workers, stop stressing over what they do
and focus instead on your own work.
here to find the career of your dreams
Tag and Catherine Goulet
founders of FabJob.com, a publisher of career guides offering step-by-step
advice for breaking into a variety of dream careers. Visit www.FabJob.com
to discover how to break into the career of your dreams.