Do you know if your employee has been naughty or nice?

Naughty or Nice Employee



Brian Chapman, CEO
MBI Worldwide Background Checks

Santa Claus isn’t the only one making a list and checking it twice this time of year.  As a hiring manager, you must do the same, whether conducting an annual review of current employees or adding new members to your team.

I love the former General Electric CEO Jack Welch’s employee ranking program.  He believes that managers should assess their employees every year and divide them into three categories:

  1. Top 20 Percent
  2. Middle 70 Percent
  3. Bottom 10 Percent


NICE LIST – The top 20 should be showered with praise, affection, and various rewards.  These Top 20 Employees are immediately put on my Nice List.  Santa would give them the best and biggest gifts under the tree!

NICE LIST –    The middle 70 should be given coaching, training, and goal-setting opportunities, to provide them with a chance to advance into the Top 20.  “Keeping them motivated is the most difficult part of the manager’s task, “says Jack Welch in his book Winning“You do not want to lose the vast majority of your middle 70 – you want to improve them,” he continues.  I put these employees on the Nice List, and Santa would give them some pretty great stocking stuffers!

NAUGHTY LIST –    As for the bottom 10 percent, “there is no sugarcoating this,” Mr. Welch says. “They have to go.”  I put these employees on Santa’s Naughty List, and Santa would give them coal.  These employees bring down everything good in your team.  SEE YA!

Do not keep employees if they’ve landed themselves on the Naughty List.  Unfortunately (and trust me, this has happened to me), a Naughty List Employee will occasionally slip through the cracks and remain employed at your organization.  If that happens, it’s essential to monitor the situation carefully.   Annual Peer reviews and Criminal reviews may lead to opportunities that will allow you to get rid of the Naughty List Employees.  Research by the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence disclosed that employers had been found liable for negligent hiring or retention of dangerous or incompetent employees in more than half of the United States.
Negligent hiring and incompetent employees can lead to legal ramifications against your company.  Conducting a thorough pre-employment background screening will help pre-employment background screening will help to weed out the Naughty List employees, and regular screenings can help prevent problems with current employees.   Statistics show that eighteen percent of people in the United States have a criminal record and an astounding sixty percent of workplace theft and fraud happen at the hands of an employee.  Workplace violence costs employers more than 4 billion dollars annually in lost work and legal fees.  Yes, I said Four.  Billion.  Dollars!

Take care of your employees that are on Santa’s Nice List.  But if they deserve coal, they should, indeed, get the coal.


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