One of the experiments I have conducted over the last few years was to see whether it was possible to ‘turn’ around employees that has lost their motivation and their drive. I had a number of cases, where, for one reason or another, I had felt responsible for the down turn in the employees moral. The manifestations of poor moral where easy to spot, and would show through tardiness, negative or depressed tone during meetings, lower energy levels, increased confrontations.
If an employee had been ‘mis-hired’ and the traits listed above showed up early enough – the decision was always very easy – when it became clear that the employee was a non-performer – which could take a month or two – I would get rid of them through whatever means necessary.
However, the challenge for me has been with those employees that had started off well, had performed at top or peak levels, and the subsequently declined. These employees would be the most difficult, since they would have demonstrated to me that they HAD and COULD perform at peak level but now, for whatever reason, they wouldn’t.
Over the years I have tried a number of coaching sessions, chats, reprimands and other techniques to try to change the employees attitude. As a conclusion of these various tries, I have now established a steadfast rule for myself. The rule is, that the employees that are motivated cannot be re-motivated – and must be terminated. Termination should occur fast and quick.