The Weekend Leader - 7 Things to Try Out Before Firing Your Employee

7 Things to Try Out Before Firing Your Employee

Chitiz Agarwal


Vol 13 | Issue 8

Being an effective boss is not as easy as people make it look. Any business leader has to deal with the everyday issues of managing employees, but few know how to handle them well.

There are times when firing a full-fledged employee may be the right decision but there are also times when it's a bad idea.

Efforts should be made to retain the employee in the interests of the organization (Photos for representational purpose only)

As much as you might want to fire this person, keep in mind that firing an employee is difficult and time-consuming. You'll need to find a replacement quickly and train them to handle their predecessor's responsibilities — all this while making sure your employer brand doesn't suffer.

It can be difficult to let people go, and sometimes you feel like it's the right thing to do.

Firing employees isn't easy. Not only is the process unpleasant and time-consuming, but it also comes with a lot of backlashes.

There are always a host of circumstances that surround an employee's dismissal. When you find yourself in the position of needing to let someone go, it is key to make sure that you've considered all of your options.

Keeping this in mind, if you want to cut costs and trim the payroll, you still have a few different options to explore.

You can try these seven alternatives to firing an employee and increasing efficiency in the organization:

1. Deploying your resources to a contracting company

When you need additional resources on short notice, it can be very hard to find the right experts to join your company.
Staff augmentation, or outsourcing, is the practice of contracting an organization's excess labour capacity to a third-party platform. This allows an enterprise to optimize payroll expenses and focus on its core competency.

2. Creating a Performance Improvement Plan

If you've already sat down with the employee to discuss their unsatisfactory performance, it's time to set some improvement goals.

It is important not to make these aspirations feel life-or-death — or the worker won't be especially motivated by them.

Instead, it would be best to focus on the positive — tell the worker about the opportunities for career advancement that will be available when they have recaptured their previous performance level.

The Manager needs to communicate their expectations for an employee and their performance and ensure that their goals are reasonable.

It is also critical to give employees regular feedback on how they are performing and help them set realistic goals aligned with organizational objectives and your expectations.

Employees must be clearly told about the expectations of the organization on their performance

3. Acting on continued underperformance

No employee likes to be warned about their unsatisfactory performance, although mentioning it is an important part of keeping up a healthy work environment.

Often, employees are unaware of their performance until their job is threatened. For most employees, the threat of losing their job is the only thing that alerts them to pay attention to their duties toward the organization.

When a formal warning letter is issued by the management, it should contain a statement about standards of unacceptable performance set by the organisation, a reference supporting the employee's continued underperformance, and a statement of the consequences of their unimproved operational behaviour.

4. Identifying performance contradictions

Employees are an organization's most valuable resource. But, evaluating the performance of your employee can be difficult.

There are many factors to consider when assessing a worker's job performance, including their output, work ethic, and workplace culture fit. For example, is an employee's poor performance due to work-related stress, or is it the result of a lack of motivation — or both?

There could also be a misalignment in expectations with regards to job duties, work hours, and what's expected out of an employee. Therefore, it is important to investigate these contributing factors before making any further assumptions thoroughly.

5. Creating compulsory achievement toward short-term goals

Keep your employee accountable with a consistent series of goals that they must meet each week. The goals should electrify them to push harder and achieve a short-term goal.

As a result, your employee will become more level-headed, more self-assured, and better able to solve problems on his own.

However, they will need support from you to stay motivated. Be sure to recognize their hard work with positive feedback, new responsibilities, additional pay, or other rewards.

6. Train the employees to fit the company's mission and objectives

As a business owner, you can't afford to let your team's performance slip out of their grasp. Behavioural pattern training is an effective way to help employees regain their confidence and give them the guidance they need to work at their best.

It can also teach them how to manage stress, helping to make sure that they stay happy, healthy, and motivated — three crucial factors in successful careers.

Many companies offer training courses that can help employees develop skills and learn about the company's mission and vision.

If you choose to send your employee for training, make sure they know how much you believe in their abilities and that the goal of the training is for them to become a better worker.

Transferring an employee can be less disruptive than firing that employee

7. Redeployment to a more junior position

Everyone has their ups and downs, especially in the workforce. When everyone is on a low, the company may be experiencing a lull that needs to be rectified.

Employers should redeploy under-performers to junior positions if they are seriously hindering the progress of a project or department as a whole.

Transferring an employee can be less disruptive than firing that employee, plus they will benefit from a new position and company culture.

When discussing reassignment options, discuss with the employee why they do not fit in their current role to see if there are any issues that the employee can address.


The employees should know that the company and management team are by their side to guide them. In most cases, managers should have a casual talk with the employees about any frustrations or adversities the employees are going through.

Feedback will do wonders while criticism will be accepted and may affect the company.

However, despite fostering leadership with your employees, if things are not working well, then firing the person in the most honoured manner would be an ultimate and beneficial decision for the company and the team as well.

The author Chitiz Agarwal is the founder and CEO of Company Bench, an organization that helps companies redeploy their resources and prevent lay-offs

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