Fire More Employees

Today's HR Daily Advisor talks about the need to fire more employees, than to let them continue to routine violate company policy, act rude, or just don't do their job.

 After reading the article, what do you think?  My opinion is that this is easier said than done.  Yes, if you are in an at-will state it is easier, but I think most companies are worried about the risk of lawsuits.  I think as a company you need to make sure you are consistent.  That is why you have a disciplinary process and follow that process.  There is no doubt that these employees need to be disciplined and ultimately terminated if they choose not to change the behavior.  I do agree that some companies draw out the process too long, which ultimately will effect other employees' morale.




  • 7 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Jack Welch was the ultimate "terminator" and made his claim to fame at GE by firing all the underperformers--as well as a fortune writing books on how to do this. He took his chances on lawsuits, but he felt it was worth setting a tone that nonproductivity and behavior not compliant with company policies would not be tolerated.

  • I agree that it is easier said than done. You really have to be able to show that it is a work related termination. Jack Welch would terminate across the board based on performance ratings, so it was easier for him to show that it was work related and not discrimination - unless of course one supervisor was scoring his supervisees based on discriminatory reasons and not work.

  • As with any termination, I think you have to be very careful in your decision making processes.  To take the word of any one supervisor is not always advisable.  If this person is new, I would look over all the information that has been gathered.  I would also look at the other people that are doing the same type of job and compare the output of this person with his/her peers.  Perhsps this job was not a "right fit" for the person in question.

    If this person is not new, I would look at pervious reports and compare them to the present report to see if there has been a change in work habits or output, how often has the person been spoken with, and did any situation improve after a discussion.  There may be some underlying problems that are causing a change in the person's behavior that may be short term.  If the person was spoken to and no change has occurred then termination might be the next course of action.

     I would definitely speak the both parties involved, individually and together, to make sure all problem area are known.  If things don't improve action has to be taken.  As long as there is documentation about what has been or not been happening and suggestions made and not carried through there should not be a problem.  Unfortunatly the problem did not happen overnight nor can it be resolved overnight.  However, resolving the problem does not have to be a long drawn out affair.

    I totally agree that a good disiplinary process is a must for any company today.

  • Interesting point -- weighing the negatives of "keeping an employee on" vs. creating an atmosphere of paranoia that employees may be let go for the slightest infraction. I side with the employer who is not afraid to terminate an employee when that employee no longer contributes to the work of the company, or the employee obstructs others from doing their job. Firm but fair works best, I think.
  • I must be an Neanderthal or some kind of throw back...  I remember terminating an employee for "Loss of Confidence".  We told him that we had lost our confidence in his ever being the type of employee we wanted in our company.  Folks, you are HR Managers not wusses.  You hire people to make the company better and get the job done.  Not every termination has to do with Title VII.  Sometimes you have to look at the future of the employee and the future of the Company.  If there isn't a match, don't hesitate to do what is good for both.



  • It is true that not every termination has to do with Title VII. But it is also true that an employee who feels he was treated unfairly and didn't have an opportunity to correct problem performance or behavior is more likely to file a claim against the company.

    I don't think a termination related to performance, fit, or behavior should ever come as a surprise to someone. If it does then the supervisor hasn't done his or her job. In fact, someone who isn't willing to confront the issue and address it by giving the employee specific information on how to improve would be the "wuss" in my mind!

    By the way, if other employees get the sense their employment is at the whim or mood of their supervisor (e.g., it comes out of the blue that there is no confidence) you better watch out. They will start walking out the door! 

  • I enjoyed this article.  I agree with Barbie and think the key still focuses on giving "honest" performance evaluations. I have run across employees in the past who were rated "excellent" but where bullies, rude, and simply not team players- but guess what it did not show up in their files. I think that companies need to be fair, firm, consistent and stop trying to offer psychological advice to troubled employees. I agree that you give someone a chance, but we all know that when a manager doesn't like someone- that chance is really not a chance in the end and you still may face a lawsuit or a visit from EEOC even if you do all the right things.

    The bottom line is- if you have a disciplinary policy it should apply and be applied to everyone in the organization- no exceptions.

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