Do I Want To Fire An Employee? 4 Ways To Decide

Do I Want To Fire An Employee? 4 Ways To Decide

No manager truly enjoys the process of letting one of their employees go, but when push comes to shove, it is unfortunately a common task for a manager. Whilst it is an uncomfortable conversation, decisions must be made in order to keep your business on track towards success. If you’re asking yourself whether you should fire an employee or not, chances are you are deliberating for a reason. Consider the following four questions, and your decision should be much clearer.

1. How would you feel if the employee resigned?

If the answer to the above question is a positive word such as happy, relieved or glad – then there’s a good chance that this employee is not positively contributing to the team organisation.


2. Knowing their personality, would you hire them if they were to apply for a current vacant position?

If you feel that their personality fits within the company culture, and you would hire them again based on that, perhaps firing the employee is not the answer. Generally, you only fire an employee if they are unwilling to perform their job function, however if they fit well within the culture of the organisation, maybe you could mentor them to help them fulfill their role better? Before making a decision, consider whether this employee could be trained to perform better, or even move positions into a better-suited role.



3. Have I tried to rectify the situation?

If you haven’t taken the time to talk one on one with this employee and get to the bottom of their poor attitude or performance, then firing them could be a mistake. The employee could be performing badly due to personal issues you weren’t aware of, or due to a number of other reasons. Take the time to talk with the person, understand what is going on from their end, and give them an opportunity to change their performance by providing them areas where they need to improve. If the situation does not change after this discussion, then firing may be on the cards.



4. How will firing this person affect the team?

The act of firing an employee doesn’t just affect you as a manager – it can also change the team dynamic both positively and negatively. If you believe that team members would benefit from the person leaving, then sometimes you have to make a tough decision for the sake of the team. On the other hand, if you have an issue with this person however the team considers them to be an important member, then you may need to work it out one on one with the employee.



What do you think?

Have you ever been in the situation where you’ve had to decide whether to fire an employee or not? How did you come to your decision? I’d love to hear the advice of managers in our audience, and add some more questions to the above list.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.



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