Contact Us: 617.694.4600


  • Improve Senior Management Oversight, Control, and Planning
  • Improve Board Governance Process
  • Improve Financial Statement Reporting
  • Improve Budget Process
  • Streamline Accounting Processes
  • Improve Accounting Policies, Procedures, and Controls
  • Improve Efficient Monthly Closing Procedures
  • Prepare Policies and Procedures Manuals
  • Assist In Audit Preparation
  • Remediate Audit Deficiencies
  • Accounting System Conversion
  • Simplify Grant Accounting Procedures
  • Endowment Accounting Procedures

Employees – The Good, the Bad, and the Weak

 By John Cohen

One of the benefits we provide our clients with is an evaluation of employees from an outside observer who has no axe to grind.  Most employees are good, upstanding people, and it is personally gratifying to bring under-utilized, under-appreciated employees to the attention of Senior Management.  But identifying the bad and the weak are also part of the job we do.

A manager/supervisor who sounds competent but within his/her department is either incompetent or a terrible manager is very difficult to detect by Senior Management But they are all too common.

So what to do?  No matter how small or large the organization, Senior Management does have tools to at least identify the worst of the worst and hopefully the best of the best. 
1. Keep a serious eye on employee turnover.  A department with high turnover may mean the good employees are leaving while the weak employees are willing to stay even under an incompetent – even tyrannical – supervisor.

2. Exit Interviews by a member of Senior Management are a fantastic tool.  Recognize and communicate the importance of Exit Interviews for employees who resign.  The best example we have seen is a CEO of a $20 Million dollar company who did all the exit interviews himself.  And although it’s tempting to have the Human Resources manager do the interviews, we mostly recommend against it.  The Human Resources manager is often too distant from the actual workings of operations, and we have seen cases where the Human Resources manager was the real problem to begin with.

3. Use both informal and formal communications to tell employees that Senior Management expects competency, integrity, and a friendly workplace.  A Senior Management which ignores these concepts is unknowingly fertilizing the weeds.

4. Caution.  Try not to use ingratiating “squealers.”  A squealer is often a bad employee to begin with.  Almost nothing is secret, and a Senior Management thought to be listening to these kinds of employees loses a lot of respect, morale, and productivity in the ranks of the good employees.

NPA Consultants are specialists in Policies, Procedures, Internal Controls and Financial Reporting.  We help accounting departments run “better, faster, cheaper,” and Boards of Directors/senior managements insure that they are performing their fiduciary duties at the highest possible level.  We are happy to answer any questions.  Contact us at or 617 694 4600.

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