Friday, May 08, 2009

The Choice

On which one should an employer be tougher: the new employee who has engaged in misconduct or a long-time employee, with an otherwise fine record, who has done the same thing?

I've discussed this with management classes over the years and have found it to be surprisingly controversial. One group believes that more slack should be given to the long-time employee because of service rendered. The other group counters that the senior person should have known better than the new employee and should be subject to greater discipline.

Excluding cases in which the misconduct is so severe that it would override other factors, how would you decide?


DarkoV said...

Based on the years of solid well-reviewed service and the particular circumstances of the "deed", I'd cut the long-term employee some slack. A severe warning, but slack nonetheless.

As far as the new employee? The key factor I'd look at is how our HR dept lays out and discusses the "No-No"'s in the new employee orientation. If the "deed" done was in a litany of items quickly glossed over and if the "deed" is more of a subjective item than an objective one, I'd give a mulligan to the new employee with a long talk to make sure they understood the severity of their action.

However, if the "deed" were of the sexual/racial nature, I'd probably terminate the new employee as those types of issues are fairly good indicators of a mindset I would not want to have in my working group.

Cultural Offering said...

The devil I know may be harsh, but I generally give long-term people the credit for a good record.

New employees, in my opinion, should be corrected quickly so as not to pollute the pond.

Deron S. said...

I choose option C: they should be treated equally. Otherwise, issues of unfair treatment could be raised, and no one likes dealing with that.