Addition By Subtraction: Enhance Your Team by Firing Under-performers

Addition By Subtraction: Enhance Your Team by Firing Under-performers

As a leading recruiting agency, Peoplelink can tell you the bottom performers at work will pull others (along with your company) down. It’s a simple fact. And yet, many organizations are reluctant to let sub-par employees go for a variety of reasons, including the following fears:

  • “Maybe this is a bad patch and things will get better.”
  • “Having somebody doing the job is better than having nobody at all.”
  • “Other people will think I’m mean if I fire someone.”
  • “Perhaps I should reassign them to a different position.”
  • “I don’t want to deal with the situation, especially if it’s going to get emotional.”

Oftentimes, though, the situation continues to erode, hindering morale and productivity along the way. The poorly performing employee won’t get better, they will continue to take up too much of everyone’s time, and they will eventually harm customer loyalty and employee retention.

That’s why keeping people on staff just because you don’t want to confront the situation is the worst thing you can do!

Cutting ties, while difficult, can often be the best decision for the whole team. To help you enhance your team by subtraction, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind during a painful termination:

  • Don’t make any drastic moves when it comes to letting an employee go. Firing should be the last step in a careful, thought out and transparent process. Firings shouldn’t come as a surprise; they should come after a series of negative performance evaluations, discussions and documented poor behavior.
  • Have answers ready for the person you are letting go. They will be feeling uncertain and upset – and will be looking to you for information, such as when their last day will be, what the severance package is (if any), whether you’re offering career counseling, and what to do about benefits.
  • Don’t do all the talking. The employee may need to vent some frustrations or simply make their perspective clear. You’ve already made your decision and don’t need to back down. Simply hear them out; just don’t necessarily react to what they’re saying with anything other than calm words, especially if they’re getting emotional.
  • Talk to your team afterward about the firing. This isn’t a trash talking session about the employee. It’s an explanation of what happened (keeping employee confidence in mind) and that the team now needs to come together and get refocused back on work.

Firing an employee is a painful decision. But in order to keep your team healthy, it’s sometimes a necessary step to take. While it doesn’t ever get easier, you can rest assured that you are making the hard decisions you need to keep your staff on track and successful.

Need to add to your team? Call Peoplelink. As a leading recruiting agency, we’ve successfully placed more than 150,000 professionals in temporary and full-time positions over the past 20 years. And we can help you find your next great hire!

Contact us today to learn more.