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Reflection – Jun Shao

by on November 27, 2007

Evaluate employees within organizations
Right vision of human source change management

Sometimes managers face a problem that they have genius employees who do not work well with others. It will be a dilemma that either they have to fire the employees or they dissatisfy others. The smart manager mentioned in the video got the reputation of abrasive demanding. He was fired since he embarrassed a colleague who was just unprepared for his presentation during a meeting and refused to change his behavior. The CEO made the right decision. We often evaluate a person based on his individual capabilities. While in business organizations, we might check a person’s value in different perspectives to achieve a solid solution of the issue. I would like to explore the problem in the following perspectives.

Corporation
We are in a highly corporate world. One single person can not fulfill his or her job independently, no matter how talented he or she is. Even the basketball superstar Michael Jordan had to play in the Chicago Bulls and he could not fight against the Utah Jazz in the NBA finals on his own. People have to rely on others. Negative behaviors, such as embarrassing other in the public, will finally ruin the foundation of cooperation with those people who had been embarrassed.

Organization
A single “toxic” or negative team member can be the catalyst for downward spirals in organizations. In the video several people who worked with the manager left the company which resulted in high cost of hiring new employees and they had to take time to take over the previous manager’s job. Besides quitting, common defensive mechanisms employees use to cope with those negative people include denial, social withdrawal, anger, anxiety and fear. Trust in the team deteriorates and as the group loses its positive culture, members physically and psychologically disengage themselves from the team.
It was even worse that good behavior and positive team members are overweighed by negative people and their behavior. People do not expect negative events and behaviors, so when we see them we pay attention to them, ruminate over them and generally attempt to marshal all our resources to cope with the negativity in some way, good behavior is not put into the spotlight as much as negative behavior is.
Negative people become pains of organizations. However, is simple firing practical in handling this problem?
Change management
As the video show, the CEO gave the manager chance to change his behavior. Most organizations do not have very effective ways to handle the problem. This is especially true when the problem employee has longevity, experience or power. The CEO also mentioned the manager is a smart guy that he had even met.
As mentioned at the very beginning, managers have to make balance of person craft and team satisfactory. To fire an employee with great skills and find a person who can replace him or her is time-consuming. However, compared to the organization performance, I have to say that an employee is of much less value. Companies need to move quickly to deal with such problems because the negativity of just one individual is pervasive and destructive and can spread quickly.
In all, we might change the vision from individual to organization in handling this problem. Managers made different decision of changes based on their different visions of the problem. Sometimes, if the first priority of a manager is to get work done, he or she will not take the risk to fire negative people with great skills. Unfortunately, the decision is always proved to ruin the organization in a long run.

However, even when we have the right vision, it is still painful to fire those negative people. Those guys left unfriendly atmosphere. Also, it is time consuming to find another people to take over negative people’s job. Managers at companies, particularly those in which employees often work in teams, should take special care when hiring new employees, including checking references and administering personality tests so that potential negative people are screened out.

Conclusion
Right vision is much important in change management. Some dilemmas finally turn out to be caused by wrong visions. The right ones contribute to right decisions.

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