What's new
What's new

Firing an employee because a better option came along

ripperj

Stainless
Joined
Dec 8, 2015
Have you tried or considered trying to give the current guy incentive to to be better/ more productive?
“Hey Kid , if you go two weeks without me having to remind you to add coolant or empty chip barrels I’ll give you a $100(or whatever ) bonus. If you then go a month more without issue the bonus is now permanently in your check.

Hey kid” if you help me figure out how to make 25 widgets a day instead of the current 23( either thru him hustling or some process improvement) I’ll give you a $1.5/hr more



A good employee does what he is told and goes home.

An employee looking to work his up the food chain will come up with ideas on his own and present them to you (THIS CAN BE EXTREMELY EXHAUSTING! Because now you have to deal will all his ideas as well as all the crap floating around in your own mind)
Sometime you need the brain dead drone that just makes parts, so you can do quotes and pay bills etc

A good boss engages his employees and gives them a tangible reason to want to do better. ( a direct tie between job performance and their quality of life)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Fulcircleny

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Location
Utica, NY
I work alone now. But I used to have a few people. (16 was the max)just a couple thing to say that may or may not be relevant in 'today's' world.

"Never dump the cold dishwater before you fill the other side with clean warm water" in My experience it takes a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks for a person to really show themselves, they start like a ball of fire and fizzel, or they start very timid and come on strong. my 2 cents, keep number 1, 10 weeks min.

THAT SAID CONSIDER THIS When I was a much younger man I worked for a fellow that would hire 3 to get 1, in each and every interview the candidate was told flat out, that 3 people would be hired to end up with 1. The shop was a contract manufacturer so remaining competitive was paramount to long term sustainability, the foreman doing the hiring would explain in detail what was being asked of each, when the cut off would occur,what severance they might expect and what the person that was ultimately hired would need to do if they expected to stay. they each would be given the opportunity to decide if this form of competition was 'for them, or not'. Without exception every time all three took up the challenge the hired 3 would start, then 1 would be permanent, and the ones that were permanent seemed to be long term hires. I realize it was quite a long time ago, the talent pool may be far shallower etc. When I hired, i always gave the speech, we are a job shop, and as such need to stay competitive, bla bla. Sit your current hire down, explain in deltail who you are shop wise, what you do, and what the atmosphere is out there, customers want more service, less expensive, and quicker than before, if he is up for the task, great, if not, there are other shops that would love to have him. same chat with new guy. if they BOTH want to stay after the 8 to 10 week time period, it is up to YOU to find more work. We (owners) all complain about downward pressure on pricing and shorter lead times. if you can bring in more (to keep 3 busy) profitiable work, the only do what is required guy will pay for himself while you expand, simply because while you are training new guy YOU are less than profitable yourself with the time spent showing, explaining, etc That time is not lost, but, will be unchargable, at least person number 1 will keep some machines running. When you get to 5 or 6 people, trim the fat, period.

again, just my 2 cents. Best of luck whatever you decide. Regards, Chris
 

gustafson

Diamond
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Location
People's Republic
You know things about your current employee that you do not know about the potential new guy

He seems perfect but is he?

Maybe he is motivated but gets sloppy

Maybe he gets bored easily

Maybe he has much higher expectations of pay and job satisfaction


I am suggesting that if you cannot afford both for a period of time, maybe you cannot afford the risk
 

Trueturning

Diamond
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Say you've got an employee that shows up on time, does exactly what he's told and no more. He's entirely forgettable aside from the stupid things he always forgets to do, like check coolant level after lunch even though he's been told numerous times to do so. He has absolutely zero desire to learn anything, just wants his check and to go home. Which is fine; He's making good parts.

Now say you've got a chance to hire a guy who is a known entity, is smart, is willing to start at the bottom and learn the trade, and is hungry. He is much more personable than the other guy, and stands a good chance to be a star employee.

You don't have enough work for both of them.

Do you fire somebody that hasn't done anything wrong, to hire a better option?

Interesting. Of course the answer is easy that decision is entirely up to you and your conscience. Along with that there is the obvious truth that whatever happens if you decide to fire the guy will happen good or bad. Either way accepting the decision and living with it is the only real challenge.

People get fired for a lot less in this world and our trade all of the time. The peculiar thing it turns out is when someone is real enough to express any hesitancy over doing this kind of action. Good for you on that. Good luck on what you choose.

Furthermore…..

A inexperienced person requires a fair amount of training and will they be markedly superior to who you have now? It is hard to project. The new fellow might turn out good or bad. It is unlikely that you could quickly in any way bring the new guy to a much higher value point. It means there is very most likely little incentive to get the new guy as to be valuable will require time and care.

That all is alright if the change is made and the choice is accepted. It is a risk like most anything else when a boss man calls the shots. Whatever happens the choice will be lived with regardless. Usually these kinds of things remind me of the saying “hindsight is 20/20.
 

Scruffy887

Titanium
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Location
Se Ma USA
Have you tried or considered trying to give the current guy incentive to to be better/ more productive?
I learned long ago that you cannot PAY someone more $ to make them smarter or faster. They either can or cannot. They will step up the pace enough that you can see it, but soon fall back to their "normal" speed.
 

Jashley73

Titanium
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Location
Louisville, KY
Let me stress this first, mind you this is solely my opinion: one of the worst things an employer can do is just up and fire someone who was never officially given a heads-up that something was amiss. Not even given a chance to do better. Barring, of course, extreme circumstances. And I know that HR jerkwads do it all the time. Doesn’t make it fair. And, if you have done that already with this guy - good on you, that makes the prospect of termination easier to stomach.

This. 100%

To anyone managing personnel, may I briefly share with story of getting fired... I hope others can learn from this.



I got fired from my first sales job, via phone call one Thursday evening... "Cancel your Friday appointments. Meet me tomorrow, and bring your computer & company car. We're going our separate ways."

You see, my boss was a "nice" guy. Nice, but weak. Too nice of a guy to simply say, "Your employment is now terminated." My boss was too nice of a guy to schedule a sit-down meeting, and clearly say, face to face, "J, I'm going to be very frank with you. If you don't complete -this- assignment, by -this- date, then I'll have no choice but you terminate your employment here."

By avoiding the brutally honest, objective, black & white, "this or that" conversation, he lost an extremely dedicated employee, pissed off some end-user & distributor customers, and as collateral, I could have gone to work for a competitor.



Do not be "nice".

Be clear, frank, and brutally objective. Anything less is unfair.

It becomes very difficult for said terminated employee to feel as if they are being screwed, when fair terms are laid out in black & white.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
And there really is only one answer for you if you ask me. Work the slacker to his breaking point and make him quit.
Start piling on responsibilities that he doesn't like. And you take over the ones he does. It won't take long.
So you take an acceptable employee, and then "change the rules" midstream ?

Anyone working there would/should wonder when you would doo the same to them based on which way the wind in blowing today.
 

Tony Quiring

Titanium
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Location
Madera county california usa
To the OP...

Go into the bathroom, close the door and have a discussion with the first person you see as they have failed you.

Said employee seems to be doing the job but nothing more.

It is YOUR job to provide the correct environment for employees to participate and grow.


Is there a clear pathway to better pay or job?

Have you done "work with me" days where you or other senior folks work as a team to do higher skilled tasks to build their skill set and maybe challenge them?

Have you had the normal job review meetings nobody likes to discuss the likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness and general goals and expectations?

In the general read of posts these are not in place.

Some folks are naturally aggressive while others need to be trained on how to succeed.

Have you done YOUR job?


Sent from my SM-G781V using Tapatalk
 

CITIZEN F16

Titanium
Joined
May 2, 2021
Tough call, not sure why you are so confident in the new guy. I have seen many an initial ambitious quick learner hit a wall they cannot pass. If you are certain he is a gem help the guy you let go find work and give him a decent amount of severance pay, also tell him you need to develop someone who can be trusted to work unsupervised, an he isn't going to obtain that level.
 

DouglasJRizzo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Location
Ramsey, NJ.
Say you've got an employee that shows up on time, does exactly what he's told and no more. He's entirely forgettable aside from the stupid things he always forgets to do, like check coolant level after lunch even though he's been told numerous times to do so. He has absolutely zero desire to learn anything, just wants his check and to go home. Which is fine; He's making good parts.

Now say you've got a chance to hire a guy who is a known entity, is smart, is willing to start at the bottom and learn the trade, and is hungry. He is much more personable than the other guy, and stands a good chance to be a star employee.

You don't have enough work for both of them.

Do you fire somebody that hasn't done anything wrong, to hire a better option?

Better the devil you know, than the one you don't.
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
By the same token, you can use up a lot of time, effort and money trying to get someone that does not really have any interest in getting any more helpful. They will tell you they do want to learn, yet won't make themselves a note to help remember things like putting coolant in the machine after lunch etc. Many of these things they can't seem to remember or make a note about can be expensive, time consuming and sometimes dangerous. I put notes on the front of my machines all the time, coolant, clean sump ( I find it best to do first thing in the am as it is less messy ), cycles before switching to another part etc. I do it myself, the notes are already made and on the machine face down simply needing flipped over and but where they stand out, In better than 35 years of "helpers" I only had a few that would use them. I keep books and manuals handy for reference but am the only one ever willing to open one and find something.
We had classes, made notebooks, put how to pictures up, offered bonuses, raises for those willing to learn new skills to no avail. Once I offered a $100. bill to them if they would bring a thought out solution when they brought me their problem, 95% of the time caused by operator error, misloading or the like.
Simple things like basic housekeeping was always a problem, someone, usually me would have to send someone to cleanup their mess even though it was in the handbook that the last half hour was for cleanup unless it would require more then quit earlier.
Having to walk around and tell someone daily to perform the duties they have been told multiple times can make you crazy. There are people who don't mind "babysitting adults" and reminding them everything, everyday because they are better than having no help but most of us would be happier and more productive with the ones that can mostly power their own selves.
As to firing the old one, the things he "forgets" are likely inconveniences for the most part however some of them will be safety issues as well I would bet, even something as simple as running out of coolant can cause a wreck that will toss parts from the machine. He has been told many times and I would cut him loose even if there wasn't another on the line.
 
Joined
May 26, 2004
Location
Paradise, Ca
Thanks for all the replies guys. There's no way I can quote and reply to every one, so here's a generalized followup. This was meant more as a general question, but here are more details specific to my situation currently:

THE BOSS

First and foremost to the guys saying or implying I'm not doing my job to bring the current guy up to standards are absolutely correct. I'm no good with people in general. Lazy or stupid people are beyond help in my opinion and I don't care to help those who won't help themselves. I'm not going to change that about myself and I do not apologize for it, so the search for employees that fit in to my shop continues...

THE SHOP

The shop is production only as of right now, and we have one big customer. We do work that most other shops cannot do (this is a proven fact, not boasting). Most machinists that have seen our parts and tolerances and know how many of them we make in x amount of time are simply baffled at how we manage it. Our customer, and us, both know that we can't live without one another. In the last 3 years we have been late zero times and have had exactly one discrepancy report on a run of parts that the anodizer ran the wrong color on. I'm not worried about a startup stealing our work.

We are 4 people total, me and 3 operators. There are 3 machines and we deburr all parts in the machine so there's nothing for an extra body to do.

THE CURRENT EMPLOYEE

It's funny that several of you referred to the guy as 'kid'. He's in his 50's or 60's, is essentially retired and is hired through a staffing agency, and has told us that he's looking to move out of the area, so he'll need replacing anyway. He also pushes doors with windows open by the window like a fucking 3 year old. I showed him how to remove the tool from the spindle at the end of the day at least 4 days in a row, then acted surprised when I asked him why he didn't do it on day 5, then didn't do it again on day 6 so I gave up. His nickname is Captain Oblivious for so, so many reasons. He moves like molasses in winter. It took weeks to get him to check coolant level after lunch, and that was after we made a large, bright yellow sign stuck to the doors of his machine saying to CHECK THE COOLANT AFTER LUNCH. It's not that he's unmotivated... He's stupid.

EDIT: Yes, the big meany head called someone stupid. Get over it. I am not saying that out of judgment, I'm only stating a fact. No matter if it hurts your feelings or not to admit, stupid people exist.

THE FUTURE EMPLOYEE

Probably 30's or 40's, has ran for city council twice. He failed twice, which is good... he's not a politician but he's obviously motivated, and he ran for council because he actually had good ideas for making the town better, which of course doesn't win elections. We've met him in other situations prior to looking at him as a potential employee and he was a stand up guy. He has hobbies after work other than smoking pot or playing video games. He has worked some jobs with face-to-face with customers and wants to move away from that. During his interview, he immediately understood concepts that he has little to no experience with that would send our current guys into a downward spiral of doubt and confusion.

I hammered it home that this job is monotonous and he's willing to start at the bottom and work his way up. He's aware that that will take years.
 

DrHook

Cast Iron
Joined
Oct 8, 2013
Location
Pierre
"If you have to ask the question, You already know the answer"...
It comes down to whether the current guy's threshold of "only what he's asked to do" is his or yours. In other words, if he CAN'T advance, or if he WON'T advance are two different things, and only you know the answer. The first kind just need guidance, the second kind need a wake up call.
 

charlie gary

Stainless
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Location
near Seattle, Washington, USA
This is a more detailed description of what's going on, and from what you've said about the current employee you appear to have someone who won't follow instructions. This is a problem. When is the instruction he doesn't follow going to cost you dearly in the form of lost revenue or bodily harm/death?
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
This is a more detailed description of what's going on, and from what you've said about the current employee you appear to have someone who won't follow instructions. This is a problem. When is the instruction he doesn't follow going to cost you dearly in the form of lost revenue or bodily harm/death?

Note how the OP conveniently left that part out ?
Calling him "O.K." at first, and now bashing him.

"Say you've got an employee that shows up on time, does exactly what he's told and no more. He's entirely forgettable aside from the stupid things he always forgets to do, like check coolant level after lunch even though he's been told numerous times to do so. He has absolutely zero desire to learn anything, just wants his check and to go home. Which is fine; He's making good parts."
 

CITIZEN F16

Titanium
Joined
May 2, 2021
THE BOSS

First and foremost to the guys saying or implying I'm not doing my job to bring the current guy up to standards are absolutely correct. I'm no good with people in general. Lazy or stupid people are beyond help in my opinion and I don't care to help those who won't help themselves. I'm not going to change that about myself and I do not apologize for it, so the search for employees that fit in to my shop continues...

There are some people that flat out don't have the aptitude to attain a high level of skills as a machinist, the world's greatest trainer isn't going to make a class A guy out of them. A person who says they can learn anything they put their mind to hasn't tried enough different things. I cannot understand circuit board level electronic no matter how much I tried to educate myself. I can figure out what board is likely bad and take it to an expert.
I have known people that understand that type of electronics like I know the back of my hand, but they don't understand how an internal combustion engine works, and I think wrenching on cars is simple, you never know.
 
Joined
May 26, 2004
Location
Paradise, Ca
Note how the OP conveniently left that part out ?
Calling him "O.K." at first, and now bashing him.
I worded my original question as a general question about the morals and details of the topic.

Then once I had that input, I provided specifics about my situation for anyone to comment on. I didn't "bash" anyone, I stated facts.


I wonder if you realize that you, and people like you, are why I don't contribute to this message board anymore. It's always a conspiracy theory with you.
 
Joined
May 26, 2004
Location
Paradise, Ca
There are some people that flat out don't have the aptitude to attain a high level of skills as a machinist, the world's greatest trainer isn't going to make a class A guy out of them. A person who says they can learn anything they put their mind to hasn't tried enough different things. I cannot understand circuit board level electronic no matter how much I tried to educate myself. I can figure out what board is likely bad and take it to an expert.
I have known people that understand that type of electronics like I know the back of my hand, but they don't understand how an internal combustion engine works, and I think wrenching on cars is simple, you never know.
Although I stand by my statement that I'm no good at this, I agree that nobody could train this guy to be any better than he is currently. My wife agrees on this one. He just does things that make you scratch your head.

And speaking of cars, I always looked for people that had hobbies like working on cars, etc., because I assumed that means they are mechanically inclined, able to solve problems, etc. One of my last guys said he worked on cars for fun, hopping them up and just tinkering. I thought that was great. Hired him, and then quickly learned that people can suck at hobbies, too. He was clueless, and I hope none of the cars he has touched kills somebody when it breaks.
 








 
Top