Signs That You Need to Let an Employee Go

Signs That You Need to Let an Employee Go

Signs That You Need to Let an Employee Go

We’ve all had negative customer service experiences as a customer. Some of them may have left us scratching our heads about why a business would continue to employ someone who treats shoppers poorly. Yet, as a business leader, it can be hard to know when you need to let an employee go. Here are three signs to help you know when it’s time to make that decision.

  1. Behavior is getting worse

The first step to helping struggling workers is to talk about the issues and tell them how they can improve their performance. If the employees don’t express a desire to change during or after this conversation, it may be time to let them go. Some behaviors to look for when determining if the behavior is worsening include:

  • Initiating issues with other employees
  • Bad-mouthing coworkers
  • Undermining management
  • Arguing with you, other team members, or clients & customers
  • Ongoing lateness
  • Long lunches and breaks
  • Leaving early without notice

If you see an ongoing problem, take appropriate steps in the right order: (1) a verbal warning, (2) a written warning, (3) one last chance, for good measure, and finally, (4) termination.

  1. Low Productivity

Under-performing employees are a drain on business. If this employee works closely with other team members, his or her under-performance could cause extra work for those employees. This can create frustration among high-performing team members, which can result in a drop in morale and lower efficiency across the company.

  1. Complaints From Customers and Vendors

Customers and vendors drive business success. So hanging onto an employee who gets complaints regularly is not a good decision. Of course, it’s important to hear the employee’s side of a conflict before you decide they are in the wrong. But you should take the complaints seriously.

Being terminated is often the best thing for a poor performer, too. There’s a good chance that they are unhappy in their role. When you let them go, you free them to pursue new opportunities where they can thrive and feel like they are making a positive contribution. So, when you have made the decision to part ways, do it quickly, with respect, and know that you may be helping someone find a more rewarding career.


Career Personnel has developed long-term partnerships with companies of different sizes across East Texas and would welcome the opportunity to see if such a relationship would benefit your company.  We tailor our services to fit your specific needs – not a one size fits all approach.   Please contact us at 903-236-4243 or keep up with Career Personnel online at, and make sure to check us out on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn. 

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