Which of your employees can be dismissed without any loss for business?

2016-09-20

How can automated employee monitoring system help with HR-management in small and medium businesses and save your money by determining which of your employees are superfluous.

Superfluous people

It seems that the hardest part of dismissing employees is informing an unsuspecting person that his or her services are no longer needed. In reality dismissal is a process that is as complex and costly as hiring.

A friend of mine who is a businessman could not get on with his new subordinate and six months later fired him explaining that the employee "did not understand the structure of the business." A month later the fired employee got hired by a competitor and after a short time he managed to achieve outstanding results in his new company. So my friend rather than admit his mistake (and it certainly was a mistake) came up with another explanation: competitors pay more.

To avoid such situations managers have to evaluate the effectiveness of employees basing the evaluation on objective criteria and not on some circumstantial evidence like "understanding of the structure of a business". Focusing on personal perceptions of an abstract good employee is a direct path to company's break-up.

To properly optimize your staff you need to establish exactly which actions are required to be taken for each task’s fulfillment. With automated time and attendance tracking when everyone in the company has an established set of applications and sites which he or she uses to perform their duties the "employee - function - tool" bundle works flawlessly. So those who fall out of this bundle you can dismiss relatively trouble-free.

Most companies which use automated time and attendance tracking systems identify four types of "superfluous employees".

"Slackers"

Dismissal reason: they do nothing

Computer activity monitoring gives a complete picture of how each employee’s work day goes. The experience of our users with 40 or more staff members shows that in any work team there are at least two employees who are physically present at the workplace but do not perform any useful functions.

It is perfectly fine if an employee logs into a social network for 15 minutes before the start of a work day. But if instead it's five hours a day of playing online games you have every reason to reconsider whether you need this staff member at all.

The emergence of inveterate idlers in a company is possible if the company manager sees the problem of organizing labor as "resolved once and for all" and does not control the working process with a certain periodicity. Even the best of us tend to loosen up a bit when control is weakened.

Parting with the "slackers" normally does not carry risks as the real example of one of our users shows: one of the company’s department heads found out about the dismissal of one of his subordinates only two days after the latter stopped showing up at the office.

"Assistants"

Dismissal reason:  they do someone else's work

If an employee frequently uses programs or sites that are not intended to help him or her to carry out personal job responsibilities that might mean that this person does somebody else’s job. In fact, these employees may not have any tasks or projects their own at all and their whole time is spent on work that cannot be verified or evaluated using any objective scale.

In companies where line managers independently distribute responsibilities among employees and control their department’s work there are always several employees who can be entrusted to back up someone or help a project team in some specific project area.

Parting with an "assistant" will be virtually trouble-free for company’s staff as employees who had previously used his or her services will do the work themselves. This promotes even distribution of the workload for all employees and wage fund can be reallocated in favor of more productive workers.

"Experts of delegation"

Dismissal reason:  they shift their work on others

They often dwell in departments where all employees have similar functions. Usually a task is assigned to a department as a whole and the staff members distribute among themselves the responsibilities and workload necessary to complete the task.

For example, three employees of a logistics department had to enter 1,000 new items into the database in a week. The task could be performed accurately and on time but if you look at how the three employees used computers for the job you will find that two of them spent 95% of the work time in corporate databases and Excel but the third one spent only 35% of time there. This means that the entire department’s work was actually performed by two people out of three.

Judging by experience, this state of affairs can arise even in a company with as little as 10 staff members. There are always three or four people who take on the bulk of the workload and because of that the rest of employees get a false sense that individual loads can be partially transferred on them as well.

"Handymen"

Dismissal reason:  they do a lot of work but rather hinder than help

Every employee has a range of duties reflected in the employment contract and the job description. And he or she has to perform them. Even if employees get distracted from their work not by personal affairs but by a need to assist a colleague it is still a problem.

Business executives have no ability to look in every employee’s computer so it is possible that they will never learn that, for example, company’s sales manager uses Word more often than necessary (for writing business proposals and essentially doing the job of marketing department) or consults customers about technical capabilities of a product a lot (which is the work of technical support) even though sales manager’s sole function is to sell.

"Jacks of all trades" do a lot of things at once but either never bring any of them to the end or do all of them equally badly because they jump from task to task and are constantly distracted. Even if they are always heavily loaded with work and busy with something all the time it is impossible to measure their contribution into the cost of the product. And this is a reason enough to dismiss such employee.

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