When Bad Employees Need to Go

We have all experienced working with good and bad employees. A character’s attitude says it all. Attitude can determine an employee’s work ethics. Good employees learn to grow and bad employees will plateau. However, all employees have the ability to rise to a new level in their career, it’s a matter of whether they really want to or not.

Working with bad employees is something I have learned to tolerate. I have witnessed it over and over again, restaurant managers who repeat the same mistake in allowing bad employees to remain. Why do they do this? I had questioned this several times and tried to convince myself of the reasons. The saying goes,

“An employee who can do some work is better than having no one to work.”

Managers fear staff turnover. They understand the challenge of recruiting good employees. The difficulty of attracting good staff often prevents a restaurant to quickly provide effective staff changes. A staff shortage presents crucial problems and sometimes the very worst employees are given the opportunity to remain in the workplace.

What kind of message is your manager/owner projecting? So, your manager had decided to keep Fred who always comes in late, unprepared for work and needs constant motivation. Fred can stay because there isn’t anyone else who can work the grill.

Many times, restaurant managers/owners forget why they are in the business. We are here to provide a service that customers pay in exchange for an overall experience. It is not only the quality of food, the décor but it’s the quality of service that makes it just as or more important. Allowing bad employees to remain in the workplace creates a poor restaurant environment for the customers as well as the staff.

Your staff is your lifeline to delivering the entire experience. The good hard working staff should not be the one to suffer. Keeping bad employees for the sake of being understaffed is a poor excuse and decreases your overall effectiveness as a restaurant manager/owner.

What can be done?

  • Do not allow bad employees take control of you; you need to be able to control them.
  • Bad employees can change only if you give them an opportunity to change. If second chances are abused, then proper action should be taken immediately.
  • To tolerate an employee’s poor work habits will result in negative consequences for your staff and customers. Neither group should have to face the consequences.
  • Delaying a change is only going to stall the already expected. Employees come and go, but its part of the business. There is always a solution to a problem.
  • Terminate ineffective employees. Any problems a restaurant may face will only be short term. Part of effective decision making is losing something to improve something.

A customer’s perception can be changed within seconds. Do not gamble on bad employees. Make the right choice. Send the right message!

Photograph by The Consumerist

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