Curious How Other Supervisors Would Handle

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Jan 6, 2006
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#1
An employee of mine, who supervises others, told me earlier this week that they have neglected to perform a monthly task for the past 14 months. When I asked what reminded them, they admitted that they have known for quite a while, as they are reminded every month when they pay the bill.

Last summer, it was discovered that an account had not been reconciled that extended back to 2008. They knew of the issue, but thought they would get it cleaned up.

I learned of it when the owner of the account called our COO and asked what the hold up was.

Yesterday, they handed me a letter of resignation and said that they know that they cannot continue in the role and that they have broken any trust management had in them. They would love to keep their job, but don't see how they can. They don't have anything lined up and are willing to stay on as long as we feel it is necessary.


So...my questions are:

Do you accept the resignation?
Do you give them a third strike and give them a 60 day probation period?
If you accept the resignation, do you retain them until their replacement is in place or do you just cut the ties and work it out.


I'm 95% certain as to what I am going to do, I am just curious as to how others would handle this.
 
Mar 27, 2012
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#2
I would accept the resignation and cut ties now. If they have neglected one thing for 14 months, there's no telling what may get uncovered later. Hire or promote someone else and train them to do things the way they should be done. Nothing personal, just business.
 

State

Russian Bot
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Mar 15, 2007
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#4
If a monthly task wasn't completed for 14 months and no one noticed, it sounds like is was a BS task that doesn't really matter. Every organization has things that by the rule should be done but don't add value and get dropped in favor of other priorities. If no one caught it the first time they probably figured it was one of those.
 

OSU_CC

Territorial Marshal
Dec 4, 2010
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#5
If a monthly task wasn't completed for 14 months and no one noticed, it sounds like is was a BS task that doesn't really matter. Every organization has things that by the rule should be done but don't add value and get dropped in favor of other priorities. If no one caught it the first time they probably figured it was one of those.
That's simply not true.

The task could be simply moving cash reserves from one account to another with higher interest. Not only this but the account the cash sits in before being moved might be an account that is used to budget the upcoming year.

The simple task of not moving the cash could result in lower interest gains and an increase in spending next year that is not substantiated because of a miscalculation in the budget.
 

OSU_CC

Territorial Marshal
Dec 4, 2010
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#6
Ask the employee why the task wasn't done.

Did they simply forget? If so, accept the resignation.

Did they purposely neglect it? If so, ask them why?
If their answer is logical than maybe you should review the situation.

If their answer is not logical, than accept the resignation.

Do not give probation period. That's not a very good HR policy and could land you in potential legal trouble.
 

bleedinorange

Federal Marshal
Jan 11, 2010
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#7
Sounds like the failure went well beyond the front line supervisor(s) to have gone unnoticed for 14 months. They admitted purposely neglecting the requirement so "why" is irrelevant at this point. They could have addressed it with you early in the process and a re-examination of the task could have taken place. Irrespective of the nature (value) of the purposely omitted task, I would accept the resignation. The labor pool is strong and more responsible employees are available. Maybe they will better appreciate their next jobs.
 

BoutDemPokes

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Jun 16, 2011
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#8
Often times employees have capabilities that are a terrible match for their Roles, Responsibilities and Expectations. This one may be one that doesn't work well without oversight/coaching from a manager, would never have he/she in an outside sales role for instance. If other roles are not a good fit within your company or you do not have strong coaches as managers or lack the payroll to have such, I'd accept the resignation. In the long run it's better for the employee and the company both in the long run.

On the other hand, if this is the only strike against this employee over a period of years employment, I'd assign this particular task to somebody else and have he/she do something else they can get their arms around more suitable to their skills/knowledge. Be sure to define on paper: a) What is the Role, b) what are the responsibilites and c) what are the expectations of the job, agree on them and be sure they are carried out in the future. If not, you have a great file on which to take action but the upside is, employees take more personal ownership when they have clear direction on what the job is and what is expected of them on the team.

Good luck
 

UrbanCowboy1

Some cowboys gots smarts real good like me.
Aug 8, 2006
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Phoenix, AZ
#9
An employee of mine, who supervises others, told me earlier this week that they have neglected to perform a monthly task for the past 14 months. When I asked what reminded them, they admitted that they have known for quite a while, as they are reminded every month when they pay the bill.

Last summer, it was discovered that an account had not been reconciled that extended back to 2008. They knew of the issue, but thought they would get it cleaned up.

I learned of it when the owner of the account called our COO and asked what the hold up was.

Yesterday, they handed me a letter of resignation and said that they know that they cannot continue in the role and that they have broken any trust management had in them. They would love to keep their job, but don't see how they can. They don't have anything lined up and are willing to stay on as long as we feel it is necessary.


So...my questions are:

Do you accept the resignation?
Do you give them a third strike and give them a 60 day probation period?
If you accept the resignation, do you retain them until their replacement is in place or do you just cut the ties and work it out.


I'm 95% certain as to what I am going to do, I am just curious as to how others would handle this.
So what ended up happening?
 
Jan 6, 2006
308
66
1,578
#10
Since it was not a one time occurrence, I accepted the resignation and am now scheduling interviews for a replacement.
 

UrbanCowboy1

Some cowboys gots smarts real good like me.
Aug 8, 2006
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Phoenix, AZ
#11
Since it was not a one time occurrence, I accepted the resignation and am now scheduling interviews for a replacement.
May I submit my resume? Replace 'Barney Stinson' with UrbanCowboy1 and it's pretty much the same thing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuLcxg5VGuo
 
Jun 20, 2012
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#12
Ask the employee why the task wasn't done.

Did they simply forget? If so, accept the resignation.

Did they purposely neglect it? If so, ask them why?
If their answer is logical than maybe you should review the situation.

If their answer is not logical, than accept the resignation.

Do not give probation period. That's not a very good HR policy and could land you in potential legal trouble.
TPS reports... Go buy the person a beer and find out what the real problem is.
 

Binman4OSU

Legendary Cowboy
Aug 31, 2007
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#13
sounds like a culture of silence or a blame culture could be in place in the orgaization. Employees must be encouraged to speak out and feel safe to speak out without fear of retribution when failure is discovered regardless of the source of the failure. If one employee was afraid to speak out when they discovered a failure then it is quite possible there are other failures that are known in which employees are not speaking out for.

This person spoke out despite the fear and social implications in doing so. THAT IS AN IMPORTANT first step in developing trust between the employees and the leadership.

These discovered failues which are communicated up and down the hierarchy of the company are the basis of how an organization learns. This situation which went on for 14 months can now be examined and the organization will learn what corrective action is needed at the organizational or process level to prevent it from happening in the future. If the organizational response is to remove someone who A) finds a failue and B) communicates a failure then the organization will find its learning opportunties to improve its process stifled in a culture of fear of communication which can eventually harm the entire organization.

For the organization each failure is the perfect opportunity to learn and improve and it is vital communication of failures by employees within the organization be encouraged or even rewarded.

The important thing to learn is the reason the employee waited so long to communicate the failure. If the person was fearful of communicating the failure because of fear of retribution or losing their job then I would question the communication culture of the company and find out why employees would be fearful of communicating something that should be a learning opportunity to improve the company.

If the employee withheld the information due to their own ego thinking it was a problem they could handle and could not realize it was beyond their abilities until it was far more damaging than communicating it long ago then I would consider the resignation if this type of behavior is also present in other work the employee has done. I would definatly accept the resignation if the actions of the employee are based in a personally held core value which is not in line with the organizational core values.

If this behavior in this one instance is the only issue with this employee (which it was not) and their values are in line with the organizational values then I would closley examine the communication culture within the organization to find out why this happened, tear up the resignation letter and use this as an opportunity to coach other managers within the company on the importance of communication failure to the company becomeing a learning organization via failure communication.
 
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Orangendn

Territorial Marshal
Nov 17, 2004
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#14
Last summer, it was discovered that an account had not been reconciled that extended back to 2008. They knew of the issue, but thought they would get it cleaned up.

I learned of it when the owner of the account called our COO and asked what the hold up was.
Really this is on you too since you are the employee's supervisor and because, well, a supervisor is responsible for everything that goes on in their area. Binman4OSU is talking about communication issues. Well that communication goes both ways. Why did you not follow up since last summer on the account in question? Look at what you could have done better to help your employee in their job. On that note, take a second look at things to make sure you cover YOUR @$$.

Go through his desk and see if you can find anything else he might have not done. Double check the employee's work to see if they did anything else half-@$$ed.

Since this employee supervises others, ask his subordinates why the account was not reconciled. It may have been their fault and not necessarily the employee who parted ways. Keep an eye out on this department.