When to Fire an Employee

By in Career

To fire someone is never an easy task, but sometimes you do not have a choise. There are few things that have triggered me in the past and made me fire employees. Do you want to know when to fire an employee?

Reason 1: Low performing employee: Low performance that cannot be enhanced will put your company in danger.

Reason 2: Toxic behaviour of an employee: Employee who creates a toxic work environment will lower the overall performance and quality of your work life.

Reason 3: Closing of a job position (employee layoff) : Job positions that are no longer profitable for the company lead to re-location or firing an employee.

Disclaimer: Consult with a lawyer before terminating your employees’ contract

How to fire an employee who is underperforming?

Even if you created a friendly relationship with your employees, low performance could result in firing people. If you choose to ignore an underperforming issue, you will see overall performance decrease across your whole business. Even high-performing employees will start to do less because of the message you are sending them. Your attitude towards under-performing employees sets up work requirements for others.

How to deal with low performing employees?

#1 Collect evidence of underperformance

    It is easier to explain your decision when you have specific reasons to back you up. Write down all the cases when your employee does not perform to the standard required, either a poor work quality, missing deadlines, late arrivals to work etc.

    #2 Try to help and improve an employee performance

    It is usually easier, faster and cheaper to train your existing employee rather than hire a new one. If you have collected your evidence, you can clearly see where mistakes are. Address them.Depending on the specific problem you can consider talking to the employee, providing better tools for the work, providing better coaching and so on.

    #3 Review all the collected evidence of underperformance and steps you did to help your employee

    If you need to fire an employee because of their performance, it should not be something surprising for them. They should be aware of their unsatisfying work results and how you tried to help them.

    Now is the time to contact someone for legal advice.

    #4 Do not avoid a difficult conversation when you decided to fire an employee

    There is no way around it, at one point you just need to tell your employee what has been decided.

    #5 Inform your staff about changes in the company

    It is generally better not to give out too much information. You should not discuss reasons for someone’s termination with your employees. It might be difficult if you have a small business and friendly relationships with your employees, but you still have a responsibility towards a terminated employee. Protect their privacy and try not to make the situation worse.

    How to fire someone because of the toxic behaviour?

    The toxic behaviour in a workspace is very dangerous. To deal with an employee who is the source of toxicity is a delicate procedure. You cannot keep an employee who is ruining the job experience and teamwork for everyone, no matter how good their performance is. The toxic employee is not going to improve, and you should not ignore a situation and hope it will just solve itself.

    How to fire a toxic employee?

    #1 Collect evidence of toxic behaviour

    You should make sure to collect all the problems that occurred because of a toxic behaviour. All the things that are against your company culture and all the inappropriate behaviour. For the case of toxic behaviour, the termination is the most difficult. You need to be extremely well prepared to prove your point and protect your company.

    I recommend talking to a legal advisor in an early stage to make sure you are collecting proper evidence.

    #2 Document all the feedback, and confrontation with a toxic employee

    Document when and how you communicated the company culture and behaviour expectations, send written feedback and keep all the notifications. Written notice should always be signed by the employee.

    #3 Make sure the reason for termination is specific and obvious

    In some cases, a toxic employee will claim the termination was a result of discrimination and unfair treatment. Make sure that the toxic person is fired at the right time, with enough evidence to back you up.

    I cannot stress enough how important the legal advice is in this case. It can cost you some money but will potentially save your whole company.

    How to lay off an employee?

    Due to cuts in the business, changes of your business structure or closing a part of your business that was not performing well enough you might need to fire an employee.

    To keep an employee in the company even if you know it is not financially wise can cost you losing everything. For a small business, salaries are the biggest expense and you simply cannot afford having an extra employee who is not generating revenue.

    How to lay off an employee from your small business?

    #1 Make sure you are doing a right decision

    It should be clear to you this is a way to go. Letting someone go is going to have some negative effects on your business and other employees. It is important that you know the pros of closing a job position are balancing out the cons.

    #2 Give your employee 60-day notice

    The number of 60 days is just an example, and depends on the country you live in, type of contract and information in the contract, size of your business and circumstances of the layoff… the safest way to do this right is to ask your legal advisor again. The reason why I am mentioning a 60-day notice is because it is a standard under the U. S. Department of Labor issued WARN act

    But as I said, this number is different for different countries.

    #3 Terminate your employee and keep a good relationship

    It is possible to keep a good relationship with the laid-off employee. Explain as much as you can and offer a letter of recommendation. I went even further and helped my employee to get a new job in a company I had connections with. The level of your relationship with an employee will determine how far will you go in providing help.

    To fire people is the worst thing you have to learn as an entrepreneur or small business owner. 

    If you are forced to fire an employee for any reason, always try to avoid drama and think long-term. Consider what is best for your employees but in the first place, think about what is best for your business. As a business owner it is your main responsibility.

    About topworklife.com Hi' my name is Simon. I am the owner of Top Work Life. Together with a my team, I write content about income generating ideas, entreprenurship and growth as a person Read more about Simon & TopWorklife

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