Nothing sucks the life out of a business quite like a trouble-making employee. The troubles he or she causes could fall into any number of categories, but sooner or later there comes a time where those troubles begin to have truly negative effects on the business as a whole. Nobody likes firing an employee; it can be a gut-wrenching moment for employer and employee alike. But occasionally it just needs to be done if you want to have any hope of moving forward and continuing to grow as a company. BUT is it always the employee that is the problem?
Here are some signs that may indicate it’s time to toss that trouble-making employee…….unless leadership triggers it:
- The employee is engaging in bad behavior. These types of behaviors could include disengagement, negativity, inability to cooperate with others and more. The signs become increasingly more obvious that it’s time to let the employee go when behavior that’s already bad becomes even worse. You need to release them before the situation turns ugly. However, leadership could be the problem, although this does not justify the behavior. Here’s an example. In today’s work environment their are more unique generational differences working together than ever before. The differences in what motivates one over the other is stark in contrast. Knowing what motivates a person is key to leading them to meet performance needs.
- Productivity has begun to slip. It’s an obvious decision to get rid of an employee who cannot fulfill the expectations of his or her position. However, you should also consider whether this person has also had an impact on the productivity of others. Is he or she constantly in need of attention from management? Does he or she distract other employees from completing their work? Does his or her work often require extensive revisions? These are questions you should ask. However, your KPI’s may be not be accurate, being correctly calculated, measured or even out of sync with the duties of your employee. Make sure that as your business model has changed with the times, that the way you measure productivity has also.
- The employee causes bad morale throughout the business. Attitude really is everything. An employee with a bad attitude who constantly complains or is rude to others can quickly sour the morale of other people that he or she works with. You need to deal with attitude problems as quickly as possible, whether that means rehabilitating or firing the employee. However, what if you have a budding Lech Wałęsa on your staff? You know, somebody who has been trying to make change happen from the bottom up since the top doesn’t have the most open door policy.
- Customers and clients consistently complain about the employee. It’s impossible to please everyone, sure, but when an employee is the subject of multiple complaints, you need to seriously consider whether they’re worth keeping on staff. However, customers can also be unreasonable at times. Affiliate partners can also create havoc internally for your business. This is where your forms core values come into play. Make sure that all relationships; customers, employees and partners share your core values or you do not do business together.
- The employee has no motivation. A person who does only the bare minimum or who is reluctant to take on work that is passed to them has no business being a part of a high-functioning team. You want your employee to be a go-getter, not bumps on a log. However, what motivates one employee may not motivate another. Some may be motivated by money, some by freedom to away from home, some by awards and recognition and others just by doing a good job as hired. Great leadership can manage those motives and drive the employee.
While the decision to fire an employee is often a difficult one, you’ll find that having a problem employee gone will allow you to breathe easily and get back to focusing on achieving your goals as a business. However, make sure you continually look at both sides of the coin and work to develop your leadership as much as your employees that person leads.