Monday, January 04, 2010
New Year, Bad Way to Start: A Management Mistake
Fortunately this is not a business example. It is a local county government. I will not name the county, it is really irrelevant to the story. Some of you may recognize this story. In this story we have a police chief with whom the Board of County Commissioners is unhappy. They accuse him of insubordination, mishandling sexual harassment investigations, poor monetary management, poor evidence storage, missing firearms, mismanagement of police chases and just poor management in general. They hold a public hearing (open government I suppose), make public the charges and do not allow him to make any statement defending himself. (He makes his statement anyway, to the press.) Then they announce their job action.
Now any business oriented human resources reader might come to the conclusion that their job action was termination. Most businesses I know probably would have made this decision. However, in this case they demote him and put him in charge of (get this) THE TRAINING ACADEMY! Yes, the Training Academy where all new officers are prepared for their jobs. Unbelievable! Whether or not the accusations are true or not is irrelevant. If they truly believed he was guilty of even half of the accusations why would they put him in charge of the training of incoming officers. What does this say to those officers? What does it say about their view of ethics? What does it say about their view of management? I was flabbergasted! (Click on the word for definition.)
I would hope that business would not make this type of mistake, but I have a sneaking suspiscion I would be disappointed. I have seen some poor decisionmaking when it comes to employees who are protected by policy, or relationships, or have a stronger will than the management or HR representative. How about you? Have you ever seen anything as outrageous as this? Tell us your story.
And Happy New Year and best wishes for a profitable, successful 2010 to all my readers.