Part 1: 7 Signs it’s Time to “Fire Fast”

You know when an employee is causing you or other employees pain. Chances are, you’re already thinking of letting him go. If any of these 7 signs sounds familiar, it’s time to “fire fast.”

1. Customer complaints

When more than one customer has complained about an employee then you know it’s time for him to go. Don’t waste time dragging out the decision. You can’t afford to sacrifice customer relationships, or company reputation, because of one sour apple.

2. Bringing down team morale and productivity

Studies have shown that productivity is highest when employees are happiest. If you have a negative employee who is complaining, blaming or simply not being a team player, office morale will plummet and so will productivity. Get that Debbie Downer out of the office.

3. “Going rogue”

A sure sign that an employee isn’t working out is when his work and the company goals aren’t aligned. When an employee has decided he knows what’s best for the company and is acting as a one-man show, it’s time to let him go.

4. Bad behavior keeps getting worse

There are cases of good employees gone bad, and managers may want to give those employees a second chance. Through coaching or improvement plans, they give a lackluster team member the chance to change her behavior and continue employment. If this is the case, and bad behavior has only gotten worse, it’s time to pull the trigger. When an employee does not want to improve, management shouldn’t waste valuable time and energy to help her.

5. Can’t or won’t adapt to company changes

Some employees simply can’t or won’t adapt to change. Growing companies naturally change and if an employee can’t get on board with that, you’ll need to help him move on.

6. High competence/low cultural fit

The outcome is never good when companies hire based on resume and experience, and not on cultural fit. An employee who scores high in competence but low in cultural fit is not going to be a wise long-term investment.

7. Flakey – poor follow through and attendance record

Employees with poor follow through and poor attendance set a bad example. When managers tolerate that kind of behavior, they condone it for other employees. If you have an employee who is regularly late to work, missing work, or missing deadlines, it’s time to let him go.

What are other signs of employee disengagement that you’ve seen? Share with us in the comments below.

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