8 Signs You Should Fire an Employee

Distinguishing an employee who needs help from an employee who has run out of chances is part of running your own business.

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8 Signs You Should Fire an Employee
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VIP Contributor
Entrepreneur and Connector
5 min read
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One of your duties as a manager or business owner is not to just handle tough employees, but also to let them go when justified. While handing a pink slip to an employee is never a pleasant task, it’s a necessity if you want to have a thriving business.

Instead of letting these employees overstay their welcome -- with serious repercussions to your business -- keep a lookout. If you notice one or more of these following eight signs then it’s best to fire this employee sooner rather than later.

1. No call/no show.

As a leader, you need to have empathy. If an employee lost their mother or father in a sudden and tragic accident the last thing that is one their mind is to call out of work. However, if this happens a second time, then maybe it’s time to get a little suspicious. After all, absenteeism ends-up costing you and your business both time and money since you’re asking your other team members to pick-up the slack.

You should have a policy in place that addresses guidelines for time off and handling last minute absences. Make this policy known to your employees for the get-go. For me personally, I give an employee a warning for their first no call/no show, but if it happens again, they’re fired on the spot. I know that sounds harsh, but I have a business to run and can’t keep having this type of person holding me and my team back.

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2. Productivity is down.

To be fair, there are times when productivity can decrease. Sometimes a project has become larger and more time-consuming than initially planned. That doesn’t mean that your employees are slacking or lack the skills needed to be successful. It just means that they’re swamped.

But, if you have one specific employee who keeps handing in assignments past the deadline then that’s an obvious red flag that they’re productivity has declined. Other signs include their work requires several revisions, they’re constantly asking co-workers for assistance, or their taking-up too much of your time, then it’s time to let that employee go.

3. Stirs the pot.

This individual can do some serious damage to your workplace if left unattended, and I think you know what type of person I’m talking about. They spread rumors. They pit colleagues against each other. They incite mutiny by undermining management or bad-mouthing a supervisor. If you have an employee who won’t embrace company initiatives, quibbles about project requirements and gets a kick out of causing trouble, then it’s probably time for you to part ways.

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4. Can’t handle change.

“Change is inevitable, especially at a fast-moving company. Employees need to be comfortable with change and eager to improve our abilities,” says Matthew Bellows, CEO of Yesware. “We need to keep our skills growing at pace with the company.”

This can actually be tough when you have a hard-working employee who is responsible and fits the culture of your company. Unfortunately, if they can no longer perform at a high level because the pace is too fast for them, then unfortunately it’s time to move-on to someday who can.

5. Argumentative/unpredictable.

As a leader, you want to encourage innovation and have employees who will change you and the status quo. However, if there’s an employee who is always starting arguments with you, their colleagues, or even customers, then that’s a pretty good sign that they're capable of having a major blowup. This type of behavior isn’t just frightening, it also creates an uncomfortable work environment for your other employees. Simply put. That person has to-go before things become too hostile.

6. They’re not trying to improve.

Let’s say that you have an employee who is tardy or afraid of public speaking. Instead of making an effort to arrive to the workplace earlier or start taking public speaking classes, the employee doesn’t make any sort of effort to rectify their mistakes or better themselves then it’s probably in your best interest to give the employee the ax.

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7. They’re a placeholder.

I get it. When you first started you needed to hire wherever you could until things took-off. I know this firsthand because I brought in some friends and family members during the early stages of my business. The thing is, if they don’t have the skills or experience to help take your business to the next level then they’re just a placeholder.

Again. This can be extremely tough since it has nothing to do with their work ethic or personality. Hopefully they’ll understand that it’s an essential move you have to make in order to help your business grow.

Related: 22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader

8. Customers and vendors are complaining. 

Did you know that 86 percent of customers will stop doing business with a company because of a bad customer service experience? Even more troubling is that a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. In other words, you have to keep your customers happy. If you’re receiving complaints about an employee from customers because of sub-par customer service then you have to let them go.

The same can be side of vendors. Who would they want to do business with an organization that has rude or apathetic employees?

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