In part one we looked at employees like Kevin who were always one step ahead of HR, always one absence away from triggering a bradford factor review, and forever waiting until warnings expire before going on the naughty step again.

Selecting a Kevin for redundancy is a tough task. He’s well known for having a stinky attitude, but very little has been documented by HR. A rolled eye at a team meeting, a barely stifled yawn at a Company presentation is difficult to pin down.

Kevin thrives in ambiguity, he loves shades of grey so his redundancy selection needs to be watertight because if Kevin sees a loophole he’s through it and de-selected.

Kevin works between the lines, if he sees a blurred line he’s exploiting it quicker than Robin Thicke.

Kevin loves wordplay, he’s a dextrous juggler of vocabulary. He’ll pettifog until HR are rubbing their eyes and looking at their watches.

So keep the definition of your selection criteria tight. Allow no scope for interpretation. Peg out your mark boundaries tightly. Be transparent. Allow little room for scorer’s discretion.


So if Kevin sees a Quality of Work selection criterion defined as “Ability to produce work on time and to the required standard etc.”

He’ll be asking what the etcetera means and whether it means different things to different redundancy scorers and wouldn’t that allow different scorers to have different interpretations and shouldn’t scorers be singing off the same hymn sheet. And all HR will be able to do is say “Thanks Kevin, we’ll get back to you on that point.”

And the other hole organisations dig themselves is not pegging out their grade boudnaries with sufficient precision.

For example I have often seen:

Quality of work:

Score 5 for never makes a mistake.

Score 4 for rarely makes a mistake.

Score 3 for occasionally makes a mistake.

Score 2 for often makes a mistake.

Score 1 for always makes mistakes.

Kevin loves grade boundaries like these. He’s ripping them to shreds with a few questions:

“What’s the difference between occasional and often?”

“Does the person who makes one big mistake with huge and costly impact score better or worse than regular trivial mistakes with very little impact?”


So in my view fewer grades are better:

Score 5 if mistakes are rare and low consequence or impact.

Score 3 if mistakes are occasional but of low consequnce or impact.

Score 1 if mistakes are either regular or of high impact.

Tomorrow Kevin’s a clock watcher HR needs to be.