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The Four Questions You Must Ask Before Firing Employees

The process of hiring and firing is a recurring one, regardless of the size of the organization or any other factor. Although hiring employees is a long process, companies put great focus on it to get the best human resource.

Of course, a company is only as good as the people who run it. However, even after being so careful, while selecting employees, companies often end up selecting people who are unable to perform as expected. Although the best way to deal with problematic employees is to resolve the problems and try to get them to perform as expected, quite often, firing them is the only option.

However, just to be sure whether you are making the right decision, here are four questions which you must ask:

Companies often end up accidentally selecting employees who are unable to perform as expected

How Well Do They Handle Feedback?

Good feedback is handled well by everyone, but it’s the constructive criticism which makes employees better at their job, provided they handle it well. How well employees handle criticism and negative feedback is a sign of how the employee is going to perform in the long run at the company.

A study was conducted in 2014 with over 899 individuals and published in the Harvard Business Review, which showed how around 43% employees prefer to get positive instead of corrective feedback, while the rest prefer that their superiors give corrective feedback, so they can improve upon their skillset. 72% of the respondents also said that their performance at the company would improve with frequent corrective feedback from their managers.

Hence, with problematic employees, it is best to let them know what they are doing right, and also what they are doing wrong. If they heed your advice and work on their shortcomings, then there would be no reason to fire them.

The way an employees handles criticism is a direct sign of how he/she is going to perform in the long run at the company

Do They Handle Failure and Success Well?

A model employee is one who learns from his/her mistakes and takes ownership of them including all the subsequent damage it causes the company, while also recognizing the efforts of others and celebrating their successes. These are the kinds of employees who usually improve the functioning of the organization.

If your employee is not taking ownership for his/her own faults, or giving credit to others for their hard work, or shifting the blame of his own shortcoming on other employees, then, that employee should be let go because he/she is probably not good for the overall morale and functioning of your company.

Is Your Employee a Team Player?

Employers must observe the behavior of their employees at the workplace to ensure they are acting professionally

CareerBuilder conducted a survey with over 3,000 employees working in the US regarding the workplace. One interesting finding of that survey was how over 40% of the workers had witnessed a co-worker acting childishly at the workplace, which disrupted the overall performance of others in the team.

It is very important to observe the behavior of employees at the workplace to ensure they are acting professionally and not disrupting the workplace environment. The appropriate workplace behavior includes treating co-workers with respect, sharing resources including knowledge, and acting maturely. If you find employees not behaving appropriately while at work, then keeping them around would do more harm than good in the long run.

What are their Goals?

There is a reason why employees become problematic, and sometimes it is because the goals of the employees are not in sync with the goals of the company. According to a research, 31% of employees believe employers fail to ask the right questions when inquiring about the long-term goals of employees while hiring them.

Most of the time, the problem is not with the employee, it’s with the disconnection between the employee and the company due to differing goals and directions. If that is the case, then firing such an employee is the only solution, as the goals of the company cannot (and should not) change with the goals of an employee.

However, if that is not the case, and the employee goals and the goals of the company are in sync, then that means employees may have a desire to change but only need a little help. In that case, instead of firing them, you should identify the problem areas and work on them with your employees to get them back on track.

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