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How Many Chances Should a New Employee Get?

 

 

Author:   Glenn Shepard
Date:   August  5,  2014
Category:   Management
 
   

Dear Glenn,

 

My boss is a doctor who I think is going through a mid life crisis. Last year he spent $40,000 on a Harley he only rides on weekends. Now he bought a $185,000 Range Rover.

   I think it looks bad for him to be so in your face and ostentatious when we're slaving away to pay for all of this and we get paid peanuts. How do we get him to see what he's doing is killing morale?

 

Betty in Tampa, FL

 

 

Dear Betty,

 

I'm 50 years old and have never bought myself a new car. I buy used and live well below my means, which allows me to give more to others. I can't fathom spending $185K on a vehicle that will depreciate $40,000 the day it's driven home. 

      Having said that, it's none of my business or yours how much he spent on his vehicles. I'll bet you $1,000, payable to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, that you spent more on what you're driving than I did on what I'm driving. (FYI, my car is 13 years old and I love it).

      You are not a "slave". You agreed to do a specific job for a specific amount of money. If you don't think you're getting paid enough, I encourage you to look for a new job and will even help you do so. Many of the columns in this newsletter are written for that exact purpose.

     Whatever your boss makes, he earned it through all those years of schooling and all the debt took on in order to get to where he is today. Instead of wasting your precious time and energy worrying about what he has, spend it on being grateful for what you have and you'll be a LOT happier.

     Thanks for your question.

 

- Glenn in Nashville

 
Click the red button to submit a question. If yours is selected, you'll win your choice of the "I'm the Boss, Not the Babysitter" or "Work Is Not for Sissies"  coffee mug.

A manager who attended my seminar in Augusta, Georgia, asked how many chances a new employee should get.

 

We all know people who’ve given kids, spouses and friends so many chances to stop screwing up that it eventually became a joke.

 

The answer to how many chances a new employee should get doesn’t lie in a number, it lies in your judgment.

 

Continue giving chances only as long as you believe:

 

 

1. He’s capable of succeeding.

 

2. He’s giving 100% in his efforts to succeed.

 

3. Your investment will pay off within a reasonable amount of time.

 

 

The first condition is a deal breaker. Good intentions and all the motivation in the world aren't enough when an employee is in over his head (which is where the Peter Principle comes in).

 

Assuming he is capable of doing the job, he must be willing to work hard enough to succeed. You can't succeed for someone else (although many managers have tried and ended up regretting it).

 

Assuming the first two conditions are met, you’ll have to make the call on the third.

 

Most people will eventually come around. The question isn't whether they'll get with the program, it’s when.

 

You can’t afford to invest the time it would take to get some people up to speed.

 

Letting someone sit on the sideline while he learns in hopes of a future payback is what college football teams do when they red shirt a freshman quarterback who's committed to four more years.

 

You don't have that luxury as a manager. We pay our employees for what they do today, not for future potential.

 

The minute you decide a new hire is going to take more time than you can afford to invest in him, cut your losses and move on.

 

 

 

To Your Success,

 

 

Glenn Shepard

 

 

 

P.S.  No matter how many chances you give him, it's normal to question whether you gave him enough. Go with your gut instinct and don't second guess yourself. Managers are far more likely to be guilty of putting off the inevitable too long, than pulling the trigger prematurely.

 

 

 

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