BLUF: I would have fired my direct today if I were not leaving the company. I told my boss about what happened. Was this the right thing?
I have one direct. We have been doing one-on-ones, coaching, feedback, etc. for several months. He struggles technically with the requirements of the job. My opinion is that he does not have the skills needed to do the job, however I have been trying to coach him to improve.
I announced this week I am leaving the company, at the end of this month, for another opportunity.
During the course of the day, today, I found my direct working on a "project" that I specifically told him to put on hold until he is able to deliver a project goal statement with a description of the deliverable (a widget) and some tasks with deadlines for the internal customer. This came about because over the past several weeks of working on this "project" he has told me that the internal customer has not been able to provide him with any detail because they are not sure what they need. My direct, however has ordered parts to build something and had a "prototype" on his desk that he wanted to pull someone else in to complete the assembly on.
I gave him negative feedback on that. He tried to rationalize it. I told him again that he is not to work on the project until he has a goal statement with a deliverable and tasks, etc. He replied that he had it. I asked to see it. He then stated that he didn't have it anymore because he deleted it.
I gave him negative feedback for deleting company property: work done by him on company time for the benefit of the company = company property.
He then tried to start rationalizing that by saying he was cleaning up his old files and that because I told him not to work on that "project" he thought it should be deleted.
At this point I ended the conversation in a sort of shot across the bow. So this is where I would have fired him, if I wasn't leaving the company, for the following reasons; 1. He either did not do the work I assigned to him for this "project" and therefore lied to me about having done it. Or, 2. He deliberately destroyed company property (the product of his work) by deleting files for something I told him to simply stop working on until he could come up with a written project plan. Either of those I see as unethical behavior.
What I ended up doing was explaining the situation to my boss, so that he will have this knowledge of this direct when I leave the company later this month. I also told my boss, that if I wasn't leaving, I would have fired my direct today.
Was that the right thing to do?