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Hi everyone,
I recently met with an issue.
A company does not have an HR manager yet.
Now some responsibilities of HR are given to the Assistant Operations Manager (AOM).
But the AOM is taking decisions without being objective.
He fired an employee becuz the employee refused to join a training she already did in her past and she received a certificate for that too.
What can be done in this situation where everything is getting out of control?
Can someone advise?

From Suriname, Paramaribo
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Partner - Risk Management
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
+1 Other

Dinesh Divekar

Dear Vishkrish,
You have written the incident but then what is your designation? What your leadership is doing? Without tacit approval from leadership do you think any employee could be fired so easily? Is it that the management was looking for the opportunity to remove that employee and her refusal to attend the training came handy to them?
There are so many questions.
Leadership demands upholding the rationality. It is quite difficult and not that easy. But then that is why only one leader emerges from hundreds.
Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dinesh Divekar

Dear Vishkrish,
This is in addition to what I have written earlier. Acquiring the course certificate is not the end result of the training. What matters is whether productivity is improved or not.
Did AOM re-nominate that employee for the training as she did not show any improvement in her work? Was there any customer dissatisfaction? Was there any goof up from her side?
We need information on this count as well.
If her re-nomination is to improve her productivity then I feel that AOM did not do anything wrong as such. However, he should have called the employee and explained the reasons of her why it was important to take training second time. This probably he did not do.
Anyway, firing employee for failing to attend the training is bit excess no doubt but in India, I doubt whether employee would get even warning letter for absenting from a training course even if were to be first time nomination.
Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Pl. ask the employee to meet the AOM and find out the reasons, I don't think that the termination is for not attending the training program, as rightly mentioned by our firend Dinesh the employee might have not shown any improvement hence she might have asked to attend the training.
Any violation of orders shall be viewed as insuboirdination and not honouring the orders of superiors, the employee who is unable to comply need to communicate properly, staying away with out any prior permission / intimation is not acceptable and advisable. However termination for that reason that too without any notice / giving opportunity is against the set rules and law.
Pl. ask the employee to talk to him and resolve the issue. If the employee goes to the court then the re-instatement is going to be the result.
Regards - kamesh

From India, Hyderabad

Dear Dinesh,

Thank you for your reply.

What I know is that the employee is someone around 50. Someone with experience and good understanding of customer care. There are no complaints from customers side. What could be a problem is that because of her experience and her age, she is not accepted in the "youngleading" department which she already noticed and shared with others she could trust in that office.

She also shared that she is missing the respect in the office, as well as from the trainer during the first-day-training which she attended.

The AOM told her that she should be writing a letter to the management why she doesn't want to attend the training (employee did not know this earlier). She was going to do that but then she was called to get to know that she was fired.

I just did a small assessment and according to me the AOM does not have leadership qualities; does not collaborate with supervisors, believes in rewards and punishment, does not know how to communicate with staff (AOM confirmed this in the questions he asked during the training). Conclusion: he might also need the training.

Thank you.


From Suriname, Paramaribo

Dear Kamesh,
Thank you for your reply.
I agree on what you are saying might also be the case. But the employee informed the AOM about it and only asked one day to think about it again.
Hence, that was the result.
Then I have one question: Is it mandatory to give any notice to the employee in this case, employee was in her probation period. Or is direct termination ok?

From Suriname, Paramaribo
Raj Kumar Hansdah

Dear Vishkrish

Thanks for sharing your experience. In the absence of any HR person, one can understaand the chaos, confusion and anarchy present in the company.

It makes a nice brief Case Study on the importance of having an HR department and HR professional on board.

However, it may be difficult for small companies; in which case they may hire the (part-time) services of an HR consultant.

I would like to know :

Who looks after the Financial Matters of your Company ??

Is it again delegated to any Asstt. Operations Manager ??

If the answer is NO; and that it is looked after by professional finance person or supervised by a Chartered Accountant; then the question arises that Why just anybody is deemed to be competent enough to handle HR matters ??

It would be difficult to teach just anyone about Human Resource Management without the rigours of Theoretical background and education and practical training that is found in a good B-school.

Fire-fighting and finding solutions to hundreds of issues that may keep cropping up, is not the right way to deal with human resources. It only shows how companies underscore the importance of their employees as well as the practice of HRM.

It is similar to the situation where doctors with fake degrees or unqualified people treat patients.

Warm regards.

From India, Delhi

I think I see where thermal problem is :

(Derived reading between the lines)

- you have a senior customer service agent, who is 50 years old, in a team that is young

- she is over confident and expects everyone to resoect her just because she is 50 years old, irrespective of her proven ability (apparent from her comment that trainer does not respect her in first day training)

- resistant to managements instructions

- bad mouthing management (apparent from the fact that even in probation, she has gone around telling people that management does notmlikemher because she is old)

On top of that, when asked to take a training that the company is paying for, she refused to take it on the ground that she has a certificate in it (not mentioned how old that certificate is) and knows the subject. In spite of being told she still needs to take the training, she continues to argue and refused to do so.

Obviously from the managers point of view, she is a wrong hire.

It's best for him to terminate her immediately before she causes further problems.

I suspect, I would have done the same in his place.

From India, Mumbai

Well, the question is not clear and based on that I can say if a training program is mandatory and help for the employee to improve performance then an employee should must go for it or can request to postpone it if possible. I such situation like the employee is not performing well, even after having attended training and having certificate and again directly denying to join the further training then nothing wrong has been done by your AOM. As company is willing to improve your performance by providing you training programs by spending budgets and want to retain you but still employee not ready improve or join training then it is viable to replace with some new talent by firing him/her.
From India, Lucknow

Dear Raj Kumar,
Thank you for your feedback. Btw Financial matters are handled by the Accountant.
The Senior manager called her back and she joined the company again. The assistant manager also did not consult anyone before firing the employee. And there always is a communication problem between the assistant manager and all the supervisors. strange but true.
I agree that there is a need for HR dept.

From Suriname, Paramaribo
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