10 Reasons to Let an Employee Go

By | November 19, 2014

Kool Derby

For the most part, you would like all your employees to succeed. You want them to meet expectations, and to become meaningful participants of your organization. The fact, though, is that about 10% of your staff will fail to deliver on the work assigned to them.

If you have a turnover rate of 10% or higher, the problem is likely not the employees. Instead, the issue is probably related to poor hiring practices. I understand that each industry will have an allowable turnover rate, but a busy revolving door is counterproductive to running an efficient organization.

Here are 10 reasons you might ask an employee to leave the organization:

  1. The employee is having a tough time meeting the basic requirements of the job description. You provide guidance and training to the employee, but he fails to learn the necessary skills. The issue here might be related to lack of interest or motivation.
  2. The employee delivers inadequate work. The assignments are completed, but there are too many errors. For example, financial reports have noticeable errors, which means you spend more time on re-work.
  3. The employee will often arrive work late and leave early. This employee will also maximize break time, extend lunchtime, and squeeze in an hour or so at the fitness room.
  4. The employee is absent from work, despite no longer having personal time. This individual will use all the vacation and sick days, and subsequently make up excuses to miss more work time.
  5. The employee has a negative attitude toward the work assigned. The problem with this situation is that you avoid giving additional work to this employee to avoid the negative reaction. Instead, and unfortunately, you assign more work to your highly-skilled employees, which causes them to be overwhelmed.
  6. The employee often criticizes staff members. It’s standard operating procedure for poor performers to criticize other employees, the organization, and anything else within their reach. Instead of assuming accountability for their ineptitude, they blame others. They foolishly believe that they were passed up for raises and promotions because of “politics.”
  7. The employee makes it clear that he will not accept any team assignments. This low-producing employee has developed the skill of looking busy even though they are doing very little. It’s an art! By giving the appearance that his plate is full, he hopes the manager will pass him up when team assignments are made. He tells the manager that there is no time for any more work.
  8. The employee is abusing company time for personal issues. Reading email, checking out SportsCenter, and making a few purchases on Amazon are part of the daily activities for the employee. In some cases, he even finds time to run a business right from his cubicle.
  9. The employee fails to engage in any professional development opportunities. There is no time to learn anything new. One reason this employee shuns training sessions is to avoid becoming competent at anything. By knowing more, and showing a higher level of interest, the employee fears more work. For that reason, learning opportunities are a no-go.
  10. The employee is unprofessional in conduct. In some cases, the employee uses foul language, dresses inappropriately, shares confidential information with outsiders, and flat-out has no respect for the organization and its people. The only reason the employee comes to work is for the paycheck.

Human Resources has the tough task of hiring the right people to do the right work at the right time, and at the right price. Once hired, the management team must ensure that these employees receive the proper training to excel.

However, you must be prepared to make a change when you identify individuals who are unfit to work in your organization. You cannot waste too much time making these decisions. The longer you have a “bad apple” on staff, the more peril faced by the organization.

Key takeaway: Hire right.

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