How do you get rid of the rotten worker without reams of documentation and yearning?  Is there a quick and safe way to nip the dead weight from drowning your company?

If we believe in cherishing Key People, how to we fight against the dead weight that barely does enough work to keep the job without really advancing the efforts of the job?

Is there a disconnect between performance and result when more company time is spent documenting the bad work habits of an impending firing than in spending lots of time with a new hire to make certain the new worker doesn’t become old, dead, weight?

What methods have you seen for removing the threat of the “almost doing a good job” without dragging down the entire company in a war with the ne’er-do-wells?


  1. Most of a workforce is dead weight. They just want to work 8 hours and go home. There’s no passion for employment. People think they are owed lives. If you’re in business and it’s your money on the line, then there’s interest. If not, who cares.

  2. Automation. When you worked with your hands and back you couldn’t be lazy. Computers let you goof off. You can surf around and not work. You can use your cellphone. You can make personal calls on the company phone.

  3. That makes sense, Anne. As our lives become faster, the work tends to become less physically taxing and that allows for indifference and gaining dead weight workers.

  4. That’s an interesting link, Katha, but it doesn’t help the manager deal with the employee that does not really want to do much work. In a union house, workers know they’re protected, and to get rid of them after their probation period is almost impossible. Some workers believe they are entitled to lifelong employment, yet they really do nothing to create the want to keep them based purely on their job performance alone. You can’t ignore them. You can’t get around them. They are protected boulders blocking your way at every turn.

  5. Unionised working environment is a seroius trap David and there is really no way to turn things around except automation.
    I think it’s the “security of being protected” encourages underperformance.

  6. You’re right on point, Katha, and that is the danger of guaranteed employment: The workers become bloated as the company starves. There’s no way out except to sell or close — but if you’re a state or the feds… you have no way out except to just keep expanding the boulder base.

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