Thoughts From the CoffeeTable

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Root Slayer

Root Slayer and Other HR Challenges

Thoughts From the Coffee Table: It’s called the Root Slayer. And it means business!

Gardening is a passion for me. Planting seeds, nurturing growth, watering, fertilizing.

And sometimes erradicating weeds.

Someone posed a question the other day. “How do you deal with a toxic employee?” 

There are so many potential answers to that question, but none make any difference until you know the back story.

“Tell me more,” I asked.

I learned that this former top producer, this former rising star, this former team player, was now difficult and angry. He was often depleting the energy around those who are now the top producers. The current rising stars. The new top team.

The real (unspoken) question was “How do I fire this person?” 

I wanted to know why they changed.

When we unpacked the issue it was clear that there had been warning signs. A missed promotion. A reduction in territory. A changed bonus plan. Elements that affected this person’s sense of worth. 

I once accidentally cut out a live branch while pruning tomatoes. The whole plant died. My carelessness caused a chain reaction.

I don’t know if Mr. Toxic can be rehabilitated. But I believe we owe it to him, and to the company, to try.

After all, once upon a time Mr. Toxic was Mr. Perfect. Maybe he could be again.

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