Business

Liberal 'Everyone Gets a Ribbon' Mentality Spilling Over Into Workplace

Presented with the opportunity to fire a coworker you hated or a coworker that didn't do their job, which would you choose?

A professor from a large university recently sent me an exercise he gave to his students to help them understand the tough decisions managers make in terminating employees. The exercise outlined a scenario in which a Title Insurance Company had five employees who each examine titles at local government offices. Due to recent competition and slower growth in the community the owner needs to terminate one of them.

The exercise then provided the employee evaluations for each of the five employees on the chopping block along with a brief profile of each.

The professor sent me this exercise wondering what my choice would be considering my experience in management and wanted to compare it to his students.

I reviewed the employee evaluations:

NAME

SALARY

WORK QUALITY

WORK QUANTITY

KNOWLEDGE OF JOB 

DEPENDABILITY

COOPERATIVENESS

Rick

$37.5 K

Excellent

Good

Excellent

Good

Poor

Jeff

$32 K

Good

Good

Fair

Excellent

Excellent

Kathy

$36.5 K

Good

Fair

Good

Fair

Excellent

Doris

$34 K

Poor

Good

Excellent

Good

Good

Anthony

$35 K

Good

Poor

Excellent

Excellent

Excellent

Admittedly, I didn’t even read through the profiles, I don’t really care if they are white, black, Hispanic, married, what their previous job was or anything. I just want to know how they are performing in their current job. I know it may not give me the entire picture but I already saw a red flag in the employee evaluations so I was good to go.

The red flag was Doris’ poor work quality - especially in and industry like title insurance where poor quality work could get me sued! It also could affect productivity because other employees may have to come in and fix mistakes made by Doris.

Yes, it’s concerning that Anthony appears to be a slow worker, Rick may be hard to work with, and Kathy isn’t dependable and also slightly under performs. But that’s not going to get me sued or create extra work for other employees.

So I made up my mind and forwarded it to the professor: “I would fire Doris. Perform or leave.’’

The professor responded, “So after 75 minutes, the students voted overwhelmingly to fire Rick, the abrasive high performer. They were shocked when I stated that he would definitely be the one I kept. Yeah, he’s a jerk but I know how to predict and manage his overt behaviors. Kathy was a distant second place and Doris received two votes.”

WOW! So the students would get rid of the highest performer? Why? Because they didn’t like him? Wow!

[sharequote align="center"]So the students would get rid of the highest performer? Why? Because they didn’t like him?[/sharequote]

It was thoroughly impressed upon my mind that students today are not only ill-prepared for management, but they may have misguided priorities to work skills. So, as long as you get along with your co-workers, you’ll keep your job no matter your job performance? If you do a great job, but don’t get along with your co-workers you’re at the top of the chopping block? Being nice gets weighted heavier than productivity?

Of course, situations on paper are hard to compare to real life. Some employees are so hard to work with they actually become toxic and affect the work performance in the rest of the office, but there was no indication of this being the situation in this exercise.

This appears to be yet another example of how the liberalization of America is negatively affecting us. The "everyone gets a ribbon" syndrome is now manifesting itself in those preparing for the workforce. The scenario of “We have to give everyone a ribbon so no one feels bad” has turned in to “That guy makes us feel bad so we have to expel him from our presence”.

Unfortunately, for the youth of today, most managers in the real world don’t have that same attitude…yet.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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