Forget Jack Welch’s Theory, Fire These People Instead

Jack Welch was the former head of General Electric and saw the company through a tremendous period of growth.  I read his autobiography a number of years ago, and one of the things that he put in place was a system where the bottom 10-20% of employees were let go every year.  Even if the company was in a growth mode, he felt that having the people who were performing the least were not suited for their jobs.

It sounds pretty harsh, and sounds like a good way to keep the HR department busy, if nothing else.

Lately, I’ve been thinking that there should be some sort of process that could be applied to any company to make sure that the best people are kept and the worst people aren’t.

Instead of using some of the standard metrics or evaluation criteria that I’m sure many companies would use, I think that companies should instead focus on personality traits or habits.

Simply put, people that do the following things should be given their boxes and shown the door:

  1. The person who doesn’t re-fill the coffee pot.  There’s one in every office, the person who takes the last cup of coffee in the coffee pot and since no one is looking, sneaks away without making a new pot.  If they leave a trace bit in the pot, figuring this ‘technicality’ gets them off the hook, then double shame on them.
  2. The person who’s constantly late for meetings yet insists on getting brought up to speed. This one will likely weed out some at the manager or director level.  You know the type.  They stroll in fifteen minutes late to a meeting that’s already gotten started, but wants to know everything that’s been done, effectively re-starting the meeting and wasting everybody’s time in the process.
  3. The person who wears too much cologne or perfume.  If your scent can be detected ten feet away or more, it’s time for you to go.
  4. The person who doesn’t flush.  I wouldn’t want to be the person who gathers the evidence here, but walking into the bathroom and finding an unflushed toilet is disgusting and whoever does it should be flushed right out the door.

What other worker types should be given the old heave-ho? 

14 thoughts on “Forget Jack Welch’s Theory, Fire These People Instead”

  1. Very funny and right on! To meld yours together, how about the person who doesn’t flush but also doesn’t wash their hands, then proceeds to make a pot of communal coffee, heads to a meeting (late) and shakes everyone’s hand, and smells like… well, you get it.

  2. #2 is definitely found in every office! I’d also get rid of the person who always wants to try to find a process to fix everything – even when things don’t need to be fixed – thus causing a lot more work for no gain.

  3. I needed that this week. There are just some people out there that you just wonder how they can function on their own when you see how they behave at work.

    We stopped “assigning” kitchen duty to people this year and for the first 3 weeks people kept complaining about why there was no coffee, etc… and no one made the move to make anything.

    The coffee drinking crowd didn’t appreciate how the admin assistance team rotated making coffee and cleaning the kitchen each week. When the admin assistance team realized it was stupid to assign grown ups to “kitchen duty” especially people who didn’t drink coffee in the first place… they stopped.

    We’re in April… people still complain…

  4. The “over-sharer”. The person who talks, loudly on the phone, in their cube about their medical condition, their children, their I-really-didn’t-need-to-know-that whatever. Please, just shut up!

  5. Oh, this was a great read today. Thanks!
    As a coffee drinker and “head” of our coffee club here at work, #1 is very high on my list.
    To go along with #4, the person who stinks up the bathroom but doesn’t use the PROVIDED air freshener spray when they’re done. Ick!
    We have the daily local paper delivered here every morning. Some times I take a late lunch – and someone takes the paper from the breakroom. If you’re going to steal the paper, at least wait until the end of the day.
    Oh, I suppose I could go on and on… 😀
    Thanks for the enjoyable read today!

  6. Definitely the person who explodes their lunch in the microwave and doesn’t clean up the mess afterwards.

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