How to Know When It Is Time to Fire Someone

You may think of yourself as the type of manager who treats their staff well, and who will never fire anybody. But unless you are the luckiest manager in the history of the world, chances are that you are going to have to fire someone.  That is the nature of the work world.

So how do you know when it’s time to fire someone? Here are some clues:

If they commit an outrageous workplace violation

Let’s talk about the first type of people to fire, those who commit fireable offenses like stealing or revealing company secrets to a competitor. Obviously, those are the easiest to get rid of. But you would be surprised at how many managers may look the other way at such things. That is why it is important that you pull the trigger immediately here. Not only is it unlikely that your employee will shape up, but if word gets out that you let them get away with something so big, morale in your business will sink. Plus, you have an untrustworthy employee on your payroll. Not a good idea.

When they spend more time looking at their cell phone than at their work

Speaking of stealing, employees who spend their time surfing the internet, making phone calls on the company dime, and using company equipment for their personal use are stealing from you. It is not the same sort of obvious stealing as somebody who lifts money from the cash register. But it is still stealing. And imagine how bad your company looks when a customer comes in and sees that your staffer is more interested in texting than waiting on her.

Sure, you probably don’t want to fire somebody the first time they surf the web or text at the office, but you need to confront the situation. If you find that after verbal or written warnings, the employee is still more interested in outside distractions than in doing their job, perhaps it’s time to disconnect them – for good.

When they cannot do the job

This is probably the toughest type of staffer to fire. The person may be the nicest worker in the world, with the best attitude, and the most concentration at the job. He or she may give the proverbial 110% each and every day. This person may be a favorite friend of many. And the person may just not be very good at their job.

You should try to do your best to get such a staffer to improve, and work with them as much as you can.  You can also brainstorm with an executive coach on how to get the most out of that staffer. But at a certain point, if they are not able to do their job, it may be time to let them go.

In such a case, you might want to talk to an executive coach about how to gracefully fire the staffer. To learn more about how such an expert can help you handle your workplace, click here.

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