5 tell-tale signs that it’s time to hand your employee the pink slip


As the leader of a company, it is essential that you handle your employees with patience and be supportive of them until they find their footing. But you might come across a situation when the employee ceases to add value to your company despite repeated efforts and best intentions. This is the point when the employee turns to be more of a liability than an asset.

Here are some tell-tale signs that can give you a heads-up to identify such employees, and it would be in your best interests to let go of them and cut your losses:

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Unpredictable and argumentative behaviour

As an employer, you should appreciate people who are curious and encourage them to challenge opinions and raise questions when in doubt. But if an employee indulges in negative criticism regularly, picks arguments with their colleagues or worse, even with customers, it is simply unacceptable. Being professional and mature in a work environment is a significant aspect of the job, and any unruly behaviour must not be tolerated.

Inappropriate behaviour

Offices need decorum to function, and an employee who makes inappropriate sexual advances, derogatory comments, racist or sexist jokes in any capacity needs to be dealt with immediately. Giving a person the benefit of doubt as well as allowing them to explain themselves is important in such cases. However, if the person is at fault and does not mend their ways even after the initial warning, it becomes not only unacceptable, but also criminal.

A drop in productivity/performance

This is one of the clearest indicators to fire an employee. Productivity is easily gauged by whether the individual displays top-notch performance in tasks assigned to them. Also to be taken into consideration are the efforts others have put in to assist this employee. When you observe that despite your best efforts, the employee is just not able to contribute, it is best to let them go.

A lackadaisical attitude that affects team performance

As a leader, you should observe how an employee’s attitude affects other team members. If a particular employee is apathetic, due to which other members feel negative about their job or feel that they are burdened with extra responsibility, you’re better off without that employee. You can consider re-training and developing the interpersonal skills of such employees. However, if the negative attitude and lack of teamwork continues, it is a sign that it’s time to fire the employee.

When you find a better person for the job

There is a huge pool of talent available, and you should not confine yourself to a particular employee just because they are likeable. Your business considerations are a priority, and when you find a person who can do the same job for a lesser compensation, it makes perfect business sense to hire this person and fire the other.

Use these signs to sift unwanted elements away from your company and boost your employees’ morale and performance.