How Do You Know When It’s Time to Fire Someone?

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Fire Someone?

When is it time to fire an employee?

You want to say “never,” but you know that would be unrealistic. Inevitably, there will be situations where a hire just doesn’t work out for one reason or another, and the time comes to initiate a clean break.

Know the telltale signs.

To be sure you’ve arrived at the point of no return, look for certain telltale signs. An employee has to go if they:

  • have had ample time to correct previously noted problem issues, but have failed to do so.
  • are significantly damaging morale. If the ripple effect of an employee’s negative personality undermines their team members to the point you notice a rise in morale every time they’re not at work, it may be time to say farewell.
  • are damaging productivity. These are the people who continuously hold projects up, miss deadlines, or have excuses for why they can’t get the job done. If repeated corrections and progressive consequences haven’t changed their ways, chances are nothing will.
  • are apathetic. Nothing is worse than a team member who is, well, not a team member. Apathy can be even more detrimental than negativity. If you don’t think you can change the attitude of an employee who doesn’t care about their work, their customers, their colleagues or their company, it’s time to turn them over.
  • relish drama and discord. If an employee thrives on hurt feelings, juicy rumors and dissing the company at every opportunity, you may not be able to resolve these personality issues.
  • violate company policies, especially those that require irrevocable discipline. For instance, there are no second chances if someone brings a weapon to work, is a thief, or shows up for work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Every employee should know company rules and policies, and be aware of the penalties for violating them.

Make it a painful but effective 10 minutes.

When an employee termination is warranted, do it properly, with respect and dignity. Firing someone should take no more than 10 minutes. Set the tone for a person to leave with their pride intact by structuring your time with them professionally.

  • Be prepared. You’ve made your decision to terminate an employee, and it’s non-negotiable. Prepare all the necessary paperwork including COBRA notifications, checklists for company property to be returned, passwords to be surrendered, and severance information. Have company security on alert, if needed.
  • Call the employee immediately before you meet with them. Don’t send them a meeting request in advance. When they arrive, get right to the point. Without being brusque or rude, let them know they are being let go. Provide them information and accompanying paperwork, ask for their company property, and wish them luck in the future.
  • Don’t apologize or negotiate. It’s cruel to subject anyone to this indignity. Let them know that your decision is final. Tell them you wish them well, but there’s no point in prolonging the conversation.

How can Frontline Source Groups help your business?

Terminations are never easy. They can be especially difficult if you’re new to the experience, but even the most seasoned HR managers can benefit from additional expert guidance. The talent management pros at Frontline Source Group can help to minimize the pain of letting someone go. If you're looking for staffing services in Austin, TX, click here. To find the branch closest to you, contact us today.

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Published on Sep 28, 2018