Consider These 4 Steps Before Firing An Employee

When you run a business it’s inevitable that you’ll have to fire an employee or two. 

Companies with the highest level of employee engagement are 21% more profitable. 

In fact, employee disengagement costs companies a great deal. One report from 2017 stated that employee disengagement was responsible for $450-$550 billion in losses in the US alone each year. Companies with the highest level of employee engagement are 21% more profitable

When an employee gets mentally and emotionally disengaged it can be easy to consider dismissal. But if you have a disengaged employee who is otherwise a great fit for the company, there may be things to consider before firing them. 

Don’t Make Assumptions

There are many things that can lead to employee disengagement. Health issues, marital difficulties, and personal struggles can all dramatically impact behavior at work. There’s a vast difference between an employee going through a temporary hiccup and one that doesn’t have the skills or resources do to their job or feels unfairly compensated. Until you have an honest conversation with the employee you won’t know what’s going on and whether the disengagement is personal or professional in nature. 

Consider Training

If disengagement is due to a skill gap, consider training. When an employee needs to master a new skill to be more effective and engaged in their job then it’s a good way to go. Although training can be expensive, it’s a much more cost-effective solution than hiring and training a new employee. Just make sure that the training you provide has a clear end goal and purpose in terms of the company’s overall priorities. 

Consider A Lateral Move

When an employee isn’t working at their capacity despite having the right skills and knowledge, it may be beneficial to consider a lateral move to help the employee round out their experience. 

Smart people often need new problems to solve. So if they get too accustomed to their role, they may become bored. Sometimes employees will become re-engaged when they’re moved to a role with fresh challenges. 

Consider Firing The Last Resort

If you’ve considered training, personal issues, lateral moves, and a performance improvement plan and things still don’t improve, then dismissal may be the only option available. When you’ve reached this point, if you’ve done your job right, it should not come as a surprise to your employee. 

If you’re still on the fence, consider whether this person would be hired today for their job if it was available. Or if they’re still the perfect ideal match for their team. And consider how you’d feel if the employee informed you that they intended to leave. Would you fight to keep them? Or would you be relieved?