Question: Question about firing employees

I have a question about firing employees. What are some signs that it's time to let go of an employee?

2 Expert Insights

It is important as a leader that we do not confuse the signs of it "being time to let someone go" with the fact that we have not properly

- led the individual,
- tapped into what motivates them,
- given them opportunity to contribute/engage, and
- made sure they are the right fit for the position they are in.

Your expectations should be clear and the person has been given the opportunities for proper training/mentoring to be able to preform the job. If you have worked through this to engage and motivate the person, and they are still disconnected, below are some of the signs it may be time to let them go...

Negative attitude
Only sees road blocks and does not see possibilities
Constant complaining
Lack of motivation, passion or drive
Excuses rather than results
Missing work
Missing meetings
Missing deadlines
Constant tardiness
Constant gossip
Sloppy work
Not being a team player
Harassment of others
Condescending to others
No tolerance or appreciation for those that are different
Any sort of inappropriate sexual or physical innuendos - both verbal and non-verbal need to be watched and noted
Does not have the ability to do the job even after proper training/mentoring - in this case you may want to try to find another position within the company for them before you let them go

As a manager it can be difficult to know when and how to terminate employees, particularly those employees who have many recurring absences from work. Your first step is to know what is protected absenteeism. The Family Medical Leave Act allows employees to have between 12 or 26 weeks of absences from work within a 12 month period. These absences can be for their own medical conditions, to care for a sick family member or to take care of an injured or ill service member. The American's with Disabilities Act, also suggests that employers provide reasonable accommodations for employees who have disabilities and this may include time off from work. You want to make sure that you have a very clear attendance policy. In that policy provide guidelines to employees as to how and when they should report their absences and finally you really want to keep effective attendance records. These attendance records can be helpful for documentation both for provide notices or warnings to employees as well as can help protect your company if any employee should sue after being terminated.

Colette Ellis