Monday, November 7, 2022

Would you fire this employee?

Over the weekend, I asked a simple question on LinkedIn: "Would you fire this employee?"

The employee in question took to LinkedIn to celebrate Elon Musk's dismantling of Blackbirds. Blackbirds was an Employee Resource Group for Black Twitter employees to support them, foster their development, and provide them a safe space within the company.

Here's what this individual (who is not, and never was, a Twitter employee) wrote in commenting on a post by a disgruntled former Blackbird:

Blackbirds? Seriously? This is a thing? At one point in my career, I had never worked in tech before either. But when I did start to do so, I didn't expect my employer to establish a Whitebird group or anything of the sort.

One more reason to cheer Musk: his dismantling of woke, patronizing, unAmerican racial segregating structures.

There's one more key fact that I asked everyone to consider — the commenter is the "Director Global Learning Operations" at his $5 billion publicly traded company.

The results read like a mandate. Of the more than 575 votes, two out of every three would terminate.

I agree. I'd fire the employee, too. But I also don't think it's that cut and dry. If it was a rank-and-file employee with a clean employment record, I'd likely pull the employee in and counsel them on the importance of exhibiting good judgment in what we post online, remind them that when they post they are acting as an ambassador of our organization and that online activity that reflects poorly on them can also reflect poorly on us, and educate them that as a company we support efforts that promote DEI, both inside and outside of work.

This employee, however, is the company's Director Global Learning Operations. I don't know how they can have any credibility in their job after that comment. This individual chose deliberately inflammatory language that suggests an attitude that is antithetical to diversity, equity, and inclusion. I'd investigate, I'd confirm how I've treated similarly situated employees, and I'd terminate. Otherwise, I have no faith that this individual will run his department and train others consistent with our values (unless the post reflects our values, which is a whole other problem). Without faith, there's no trust, and without trust the employment relationship is irreparably broken.

Thus, I agree with the 66 percent who say, "Yes, I'd fire this employee," but not just because of the comment, but because of the comment taken in context of the employee's position within the company.

Agree? Disagree? Head over to LinkedIn and have your say; the poll is still open, and the comments are flowing. (And if you're not yet following me on LinkedIn, hit that follow button while you're there, too.)