Making Lemonade: Problem Employee Solutions

lemonEver hire  a Lemon to work for you? Has it resulted in increased blood pressure, tension headaches, migraines, complaints or lost revenue? Do I need to say more.  Probably not.  This blog is dedicated to helping managers deal with employee problems.  All kinds of problems: big and little. Problems that require counseling employees to improve and problems that require discipline up to and including termination.  This is an “Employee Problem Blog,” or said another way a “Problem Employee Blog.”   Sometimes it will require a legal solution and when it does, we will tell you about possible legal solutions. For the most part however, we want to keep you away from legal solutions because they become very expensive.  The secret to having a lemon and maintaining your own sanity, is the art of turning one into lemonade.

Let me begin by stating my philosophical view of employees: “Great employees are our most valuable assets! Marginal employees hurt our organizations and cost us credibility!”  For the most part there are three categories of problem employees: (1) those who are incompetent and can become competent; (2) those who are incompetent and cannot ever become competent; (3) those who are self-gratification focused and tend to misbehave in self-pleasing ways; and,( 4) those who don’t give a damn about the organization,  its people and customers, preferring to live life based on their own view of the world. Within this blog we will address these main categories of Lemons and from time to time we will talk about other deviant forms of Lemons and how to deal with them.

Managers who read this blog manage in two different domains: public sector managers, and private sector managers.  There are vast differences in these two domains and when we are talking about Lemons and Lemonade we will take care to identify which domain, public or private, we are dealing with.  We will also, when time permits, explain how actions about a particular problem employee or employee problem should be handled based on the domain.  You should also know that the author practices law in California and Oregon, so his view may be skewed with a Pacific flavor. Our hope is to help employers avoid costly litigation and to make Lemonade whenever they can.  For this reason we invite your questions about how to deal with a Lemon; however, we may or may not select your question for a future blog.  We use our own discretion in selecting topics. You are responsible to maintain the confidentiality of any party that may be involved when sending us a question.  Failure to take care, may result in your needing our legal representation services sooner rather than later (just kidding—possibly).

Just because you are reading this, you are not our client. This blog is designed to address general employment issues and the authors are not engaged in giving legal advice for your specific issue. You should consult your own employment lawyer for that, or contact our office to get specific legal advice to address your particular legal issue.  This is free general information that is based on the author’s knowledge and experience and is not meant to be used for application in specific legal matters. The author(s) are Counselors at Law, but we reserve our specific legal advice for clientele who employ us and we represent clients’ only after entering into a written agreement for services.


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