Dumping Bad Employees…Internally

You know the scenario…

“John” has bounced around from department to department.  He’s a nice enough person, but never really fits in with the team.  Once his true limits become obvious he quickly transfers to a new area.  His Managers are always so thankful that he’s leaving that they never get around to updating the new Manager that John is a problem.

Why Does This Happen?
I’m not new to HR.  I’m also not new to large organizations that have many departments where employees can hide under the radar.  What still bothers me however, is that leaders allow this type of scenario to occur over and over again. Why? 

What could possibly be the reason that leaders hide behind a transfer form and an easy out?

Okay, I said it.  Leaders are afraid. They’re busy, under a lot of pressure to perform, and quite honestly don’t want to be bothered with “HR” issues if they don’t have to. So they look the other way and approve the internal transfer.  In doing so, they are also dumping on their colleagues.  This is worse than a poor hire from the outside though, because the organization is still stuck with the low performer and the employee is not being held accountable.   Let’s face it, you are not going to improve if you’re never held accountable, right?  Aren’t we supposed to support employees, particularly the ones that may have potential but are struggling at the moment?

Another Opportunity for HR
Since we know many (not all) Managers would rather pass along a problem employee than hold them accountable, it’s up to HR to provide the leadership that the department leader can not or will not provide.  This intervention will not only stop this constant shuffling, but will also help the employee.  How?  Perhaps for the first time, they will get some honest feedback about their performance, and what it will take for them to be successful. Don’t we want our employees to be successful?

How About You
Do you love to feel like you’re in Vegas and can shuffle the deck of poor performers? Do you feel a sense of relief when your weakest employee submits a transfer form? Are you able to look the other Manager in the eye when they realize what you’ve done?  Or, do you actually work with your struggling employees to help them, and your organization to excel?

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pics courtesy of Its How We Roll and Inperta