When you’re at the helm of a business, you should continually be on the lookout for the best interest of your company. At times, your workforce may seem to be debilitated and unfortunately, the origins of dysfunction could be one of your own team members. As you might develop emotional ties towards specific employees – especially if they’ve been with you from the get-go – it may be hard to recognise that they may be hindering your company’s performance. We’ve laid out a list of red flags that may be indicative of the appropriate time to terminate an employee.

Their performance drops

There are a number of factors which could be the reason for a dip in performance on your employee’s part. Your recruit might be feeling underpaid or might feel unsatisfied with their present position. In that case, the solution is simple – have a brief negotiation meeting or a shift in administrative roles. To mitigate this happening in the future, make sure to lay out your company’s work-ethic at the introductory meeting; that way, your new recruits are prepared for your expectations, and you avoid being sued for deciding to terminate an employee for not satisfying your requirements.

They’re static

A worker’s performance can be a good indicator of whether you should terminate an employee or not. However, it all really depends on what you want for your company. Do you want your team to be proactive and enthusiastic about the work that comes in, or are you satisfied with settling for a group of people who are content with doing the same tasks each day and are afraid of innovation? Adaptability is a highly valued characteristic. Today’s clients want to work with a flexible team for one-stop-shop solutions, so employing idle individuals may be losing you the jobs you’ve been wanting to lock down for so long. It is important you keep track of your team’s progress to be able to spot the recruits that have been getting too comfortable in their seats.

They ignore feedback

Every single individual serves a functional role in a company. Yours, as an employer, is to recommend change and push employees to perform at their best capabilities. If your feedback goes ignored, that should serve as a clear indicator that your employee has no interest in helping your company to achieve well-deserved results. An employee who refuses feedback will cause your team to fall behind while undermining your authority in the company.

They’re costing you your relationships

Seeing as most employers don’t possess the luxury of working alongside their employees, it can prove tough to spot a dysfunctional team member. In such cases, it is of utmost importance that employers maintain an open channel of communication with their clients and supervising managers. If a singular employee’s name is repeatedly referenced, it would be wise to investigate further into the case. While complaints should be taken with a pinch of salt, an employee who creates tension in the office or constantly disappoints clients could lead to a dip of office morale and, as a result, cost your company big money.

They show troubling behaviour

It’s easy to ignore a pestering employee when you’re not working in the same environment as them but it is important to keep tracks of how their behaviour affects the rest of your team. Abusive and discriminatory behaviours should not be tolerated and are considered sound causes to terminate an employee. Apart from creating distress within your office, this behaviour could prove to be a liability and inevitably tarnish the reputation of your company. The last thing you want is for your company’s name to be associated with any scandal.

Their time management is poor

Once you’ve trained your recruits, your hope is that they will be able to carry their load and perform efficiently. Whilst this is usually the case, you’ll encounter employees that require to be micromanaged well into their first years of employment. Such workers are less likely to engage and take initiative. These team members can prove to be a waste of resources as they take up the time of your other employees; so, in the end, letting them go might save you the trouble.

Your intuition says so

We’ve all had those gut feelings we’ve chosen to suppress, only to regret them in the long run. Whilst we understand the termination of a contract should be no haphazard decision, sometimes you can just feel that things are not working out. Trust your intuition.

Getting to it…

If you thought making up your mind about whether to terminate an employee was the hard part, think again. You need to practice extreme caution with regards to the exit meeting to avoid any potential litigations. In fact, we recommend you hire a human resources consultant or an employment attorney to guide you through the most sensitive cases.

According to various studies, it’s best to lay off employees during the middle of the week. This allows the employee ample time to begin their job search while allowing your human resources team to prepare for the termination meeting during the beginning of the week.

Whatever you do, make sure not to leave space for interpretation. You do not want the individual sitting in front of you to think your decision is not definite, or you might find yourself in an awkward situation. We recommend that you go through the employee’s progress report during the termination meeting and explain the instances that have caused their firing. Be firm and direct to avoid misinterpretations. Statements like “You’ve been great, but…”, while comforting, can see you being accused of wrongful termination and cashing out a substantial settlement.

Once you’re satisfied with the results of your meeting, make sure to inform your team about their departing colleague. The last thing you want is for your team to be kept in the dark about the absence of a co-worker.

What now?

Generally speaking, it is recommended that you start looking for a replacement ahead of cutting your resources. We’ve got over 50,000+ potential substitutes on our database so we recommend you put out a job post before you’re caught short-handed.

Once the applicants start swarming in, make sure to check out our tips and tricks for streamlining applications and finding the ideal recruit for your company. Worried about hiring the wrong match? This list of points can help pinpoint things to look out for in a potential recruit.