Post # 31
ariesscientist : Publicly threatening to steal company clients is grounds for dismissal. In a service business, your clients are your business. That isn’t a threat to be taken likely, especially if he might take these clients to a competitor, not just his own startup.
The toxic employee needs to go, too. But if he’s a co-owner, I understand that he can’t just be sent packing.
Post # 32
n00bee : You need to talk to an employment lawyer before you start adding stuff like that into contrats. In some jurisdictions, they aren’t enforceable and a waste of paper.
Post # 33
ariesscientist : you can be fired for misbehavior that isn’t specifically spelled out in a written contract. It’s pretty reasonable and expected that if you steal clients from your employer and start working in direct competition that it’s grounds for termination.
Post # 34
LilliV : Depends on the type of clients they are, they might technically be his if he found them. In the UK there are no employment laws that state you can’t poach clients from a former employer unless you’re a director/founder or it’s written into your contract, OP needs to contact an employment expert before firing him or threatening to.
Post # 35
ariesscientist : I do see what you’re saying, and we will have to carefully consider what our social media policy would be. It very well may be a dick move on my part to look at their pages since we haven’t communicated a policy to them, but a fellow local business owner found out via a careless post that his employee came to work drunk from the night before…ever since then, I’ve checked on my guys from time to time.
Post # 36
I can’t reply to everyone individually, but thank you all for the responses and suggestions. This is a very small company with a lot of kinks to work out, and it’s lawn care so it can be a struggle to find really professional employees. And yes, the toxicity is a major issue that needs to be worked on, but it’s way too much to get into on this forum!
Post # 37
LMAO at the concept of “personal social media”. Be real. I can’t believe in this day and age there are people who believe this exists. Maybe it’s like Bigfoot.
Post # 38
mrsssb : To avoid giving employees an opportunity to steal client contacts and or send out negative emails once they are fired, you need a policy that takes a staff member to an office, fires them, and simultaneously locks them out of their employee computer and email and any other accounts. Then someone supervises them collecting personal items from their office and escorts them off the premises.
Trust me, unhappy employees have already gathered all the information they need long before it comes to a quit/fire situation, especially in a toxic workplace. Employees are typically unhappy for awhile before they start acting out or posting stupid stuff in social media.
I’m not saying your advice is bad, it’s still a good practice. It just doesn’t work most of the time to prevent the person in question from stealing contact info and other valuable information. In a firing situation it is definitely good so they don’t destroy or compromise data.
Post # 39
The first problem is your toxic employee.
1. Sit toxic employee down. List all the concerns and the impact they are having on the workplace. Tell them explicitly what you need going forward.
2. Sit Mark down. Tell him that his posts on fb were forwarded to you and you are concerned. Tell him that while you understand it’s frustrating for him to deal with toxic employee, while he works there he is a representative of the company and he needs to keep workplace issues off of social media. Explain to him that threatening to poach clients is problematic for the company and your own working relationship with him. Explicitly state that while you enjoy working with him, if this sort of thing happens again it will lead to termination. Ask him if he feels he can still work there knowing those terms. If he agrees, great. If not, work on a plan to transition him out.
3. Work on a plan to get rid of toxic employee, get buy-in from whoever you need to.
4. At the same time, get some protection from employees poaching your clients, whether it’s adding it to contracts or what, and create a policy about social media.
5. Protect your employees and support them against toxic coworkers, if you can’t get rid of this person. Be transparent that you know it’s an issue and you are working on it.
Post # 40
n00bee : I would tell Mark that you were notified of his post, and say that it looks unprofessional, and reflects poorly on the company. I’d advise him to make his account truly private, and tell him this is a warning.