we found an employee is skipping his duties. he is an marketing executive and whenever he was asked to meet a client he is not responding. even though we have warned him several times.
what strict action should be taken?
please help

From India, Bangalore
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Freelancer In Hr &indirect Taxes For
Talent Acquisition (it)
Senior Manager - Human Resources
+2 Others

Dear Renuka,

If the employees has absented for several times and if you have given him warning also then he is habitual offender. But then why is he not responding to your efforts to correct his behaviour? What is underlying idea to ignore your warnings? Secondly, how warning was given? Was it just verbal or you have records of written warning?

If you have sufficient evidence of the progressive discipline, then conduct the domestic enquiry and terminate him. Before conducting enquiry, you may give him one final chance to improve.

For Mr Govind Singh Negi: - Absenteeism vitiates the organisation's culture. Though you have said directly, your questions give a feeling that you would like to link absenteeism to the performance. What if that employee's performance is excellent? Does it mean that we should ignore his indiscipline for the sake of high-level performance? This trade-off is dangerous as it violates principle of equality. Stern action against truant employees sends a message to one and all and this unsaid message from top authorities is quite important.


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Ms Renuka,

As mentioned by you that the marketing executive in your company is not responding when asked to meet the client, you can definitely take up any strict action against him; starting from issuing a warning letter to termination. However, i would suggest certain points to be considered before you take any action against him.

Has he been behaving like this ever since he joined your organisation?

Has there been any confrontation/discussion/counselling done for him?

Has there been any discussion around the reason for this behaviour to analyse if this is skill issue or a will issue?

My questions may not sound very important but if he has shown good performance in past, he can do so in future as well. As an easy alternative you may fire this employee and hire a new one to replace him, but if any ‘performance improvement plan’ in your company can make changes to his performance, you’ll convert a non performing asset to a valuable one for your company! Moreover, it can help retention figures of your company look good.

It’s a fact that the employee in question is not performing, but the REASON is something that needs to be taken care of. Just a possibility, he might be facing personal problem, or frictions with boss or colleague or any other problem inside or outside organisation. This given situation should ideally lead to investigation/diagnoses of problem which may bring some unknown facts to light. It could be a mean statement but such situations are helpful for HR personnel to engage themselves in understanding psychology of employee, his understanding of his own work and his views towards employer.

Undoubtedly, the situation calls for a strong action, but whatever action you take should be supported by reason.

At the end of day its a ‘REASON’ that can justify the actions taken by management or an employee to survive and progress professionally.

From India, Gurgaon

All have given the right guidance.I just wanted to add,that training and imbibing the corporate discipline in employees is the prime responsibility of HR.At the same time employee performance review,their welfare, growth and development assurance is also equally important.Kindly have self review on all aspects of HR Development and then look out for appropriate actions as per the laid down procedures under HR policy of the company.After all business needs out put from their employees while employees needs all the support and assurances in respect of their growth and development.One thing not to be forgotten that manpower is the basic requirement of any business and turning this manpower in most fruitful asset to any business lies in the hands of HR,Provided the managements also supports this and help in providing all the resources that is needed for business development.

The case in your matter is only of an executive,and is not much difficult to handle if you take careful decision you will not go wrong,only ensure that every action in industry will require an appropriate justification for both - management as well as employee in question.

Thanks and regards


From India, Vadodara
From the details given by you, his conduct amounts to insubordination and lack of interst and that too coming from a marketing excecutive, it has vital implications on business development and customer servcie and cannot be allowed to contnue like this. You need to pursue two options.

1) one is HR approach : if the marketing executive is otherwise a performer and recorded a good past performanace and has potential, you can try one more time in talking to him, ascertaining the reasons for his indifference ( whether issue of compensation or commissions are the cause) and counselling him and there after taking remedial measures to induce a postive behaviour in him.This is suggested because it is not known whether you have exhausted thisoption also earlier as you said you only warned him. This is not to condone indisipline that is habitually repeated for the sake of good performance.

2) IR approach : If he is of ordinary calibre and avearge performer and yet has the audacity to disobey the instructions of the superiors, such conduct may not be conducive in this competitive market driven business environment and it may warrant action on disciplainary lines beyond the stage of warning.

You need to take call on the facts and merits of each case. Diagnose teh acuse and then determine the action.


HR & labour law Advisor

From India, Mumbai
Working in marketing, that too in field, is uncontrollable area by Office Manager. Most of the companies see that their field personnel achieve their targets, and these MEs also take utmost care that business assigned to them is well achieved, thru their regular contacts and personal touch with Customers. Once this is done, they feel that they are at liberty to do anything, or not to obey sincerely, instructions given by office people.

If Office instructs them to meet any new customer, they are not much bothered, or will act as per their own wish. They always have feelings that because they work in hot sun or under heavy showers or make tedious travelling, company gets revenue. To some extent this is true, however, one has to oblige instructions from HO/ seniors, and always maintain discipline in their working habits.

If a person is in continuous faults or always disobedient, action must be taken. But Management should be prepared to loose the business (ofcourse, it will be only for short period), if the concerned person decides to hamper company’s sales adversely.

From India, Mumbai
Dear Renuka
If your employee is skipping his duty and does not meet client then it means that he is not serious and motivated for his job. If he does it habitually then he is burden for you and you can terminate him after couples of written warning. If he suddenly start showing this behavior then something is definitely wrong. He may have problem with boss or colleague or he may have compensation issues or he may have found some other job. You should investigate the reasons behind his attitude

From Pakistan, Karachi
Hi Renuka:
Since you are talking of a marketing executive, he is reasonably mature to realize his roles/responsibilities and to fulfill them. You'll have to see that whether it is out of callousness that he is thus acting - in which case, he must be reprimanded in the most unambiguous terms, and if his attitude of indifference continues he must be shown the door. If it is something more deep rooted (HR must look into the issue/s) and arrange for his meeting with a psychologist and an answer may emerge. What needs be remembered , that often such issues emerge because of environmental, societal, social factors and for some reason, unknown to the employee him/herself fails to 'open-up' with the employer. The HR Manager/Boss must play a positive role trying to dig out the 'issue' in an empathic manner, which would lead to building a lasting, and a productive employee may not be lost.
Hope this would help

From Pakistan, Karachi
Dear Ms Renuka
Please see his performance records at least for last 3 months .
Check with his Manger about the daily reports which he is supposed to submit, if there is performance gap, call the employee and confront him rightly by producing all records that you rely.
give him a reprimand letter, if he continues to be less than the performance level, written waring letter. third time if there is no changes on his part, go for issuing pink slip.
C Manimaran

From India, Bangalore

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