Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Decision Time

My 10-point guide to re-hiring a former employee with minimal reputational damage after they have served time for a serious crime:

  1. If you have time (say, around 2.5 years) to plan for making a decision, use the time well so your future decision is made and presented as slickly as possible
  2. Be clear whether your decision is to be based on their work performance or personal conduct, and then make that decision quickly
  3. Try to convince yourself it's the right decision. If you can't, don't do it. If you can, show yourself as being decisive and stick to it
  4. Decide who is the right member of your management team to communicate the reasons for your decision (ie. chairman, director, Chief Exec, or operational manager) and make sure they proactively communicate their decision, any conditions, and the reasons behind it. Don't give the impression everyone is passing the buck, or that nobody wants to take responsibility for the decision
  5. Ensure the member of staff leaves prison (at least giving the impression of being) genuinely contrite, as a condition for their re-employment
  6. Ensure said person follows that through with actions to show they have changed, for example by donating money or giving voluntary time to relevant charities or support groups
  7. Ensure all the above is completed before attempting reintegration. Then, if possible, start that reintegration before anyone else finds out
  8. Have a media statement ready in the event of the reintegration being leaked. You've had over two years to write it. Don't take eight hours to issue a statement after the story has leaked
  9. Ensure all your statements on the issue calmly and rationally put your point of view. Don't use emotive terms such as "mob justice"
  10. Above all, get the difficult decision made, acted on and communicated as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Don't cause prolonged speculation and ongoing damage to your reputation by stringing it out for months

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