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BusinessNZ goes Grinch with advice on who to fire immediately

Wednesday 21st December 2011 5 Comments

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Employers’ and manufacturers’ lobby group Business New Zealand has injected a little spirit of the Grinch into the Christmas edition of its ManufacturingNZ newsletter, which highlights “three types of people to fire immediately.”

Taken from the financial news agency Bloomberg’s Business Week publication, the article suggests that “victims”, “non-believers” and “know-it-alls” are the three types of people that businesses should show the door to.

“Victims are people who see problems as occasions for persecution rather than challenges to overcome,” says G Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Viton from Maddock Douglas, an American innovation consultancy.

“Note to the HR department, victims are the most likely to feel the company has maliciously terminated them regardless of cause,” they advise.

Also for the high-jump should be those they call the “non-believers”, who lack the willpower to back “industry-changing innovation.”

“We’ve found the link between believing and succeeding incredibly powerful and real,” say Maddock and Viton, who say the non-believers in a firm have a “cancerous effect” on success.

The last unwanted group, the Know-It-Alls have seen it all before and know why it can’t work.

“The best innovators are learners, not knowers,” they argue. “Unfortunately, it is often the smartest, most-seasoned employee who eventually becomes expert in using his or her knowledge to explain why things are impossible rather than possible.”

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Comments from our readers

On 21 December 2011 at 10:29 am Gareth said:
Quite short sighted on the Know-It-Alls. Kicking out the person who knows the most about a system rather than learning how to get the most out of them is self defeating as no one would want to be an "expert" in that environment. Pretty much agree on the first two though.
On 21 December 2011 at 11:04 am Antony said:
Sounds like Bus NZ is commending constructive dismissal as a viable cost cutting strategy... either that or it's a nice little PR campaign to keep the 'have nots' fearful of asking their employers for more.
On 22 December 2011 at 9:28 am don said:
yep, fire all the cynics, know-alls and non-believers I think you will find that you will be left with ... the Marketing Department!! ;-)
On 22 December 2011 at 9:43 am Adam said:
Great in theory, but ignores the fact that NZ's politically-correct left-wing employment laws make it impossible to actually "fire" someone. It requires a painful, time-consuming, 24-week minimum process of warnings, carefully spelt-out tasks, monitoring, meetings, letters, and if it any point the person decides to temporarily behave themselves, you're back to square one. Most managers lack the stomach or time to bother with this process, thereby poisoning the organisation with unmanageable staff. Constructive dismissal, golden handshakes or redundancy seem to be the only way to remove rotten apples.
On 22 December 2011 at 10:21 pm Martin said:
Unfortunately there is a common trait amongst lower calibre managers to simply make changes as opposed to having a strong plan for improvement. Such failings lead to victims (of a failed plan), non-believers (obviously) and know-it-alls (who can see where there are problems). Because of their lower calibre they are not ready or willing to listen to feedback, and then categorise people as per this article - which was seemingly authored by someone of such a calibre. Good managers know how to lead people.
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