How to Get Rid of Bad Employees


A successful business is only as good as its employees, which places a premium on hiring employees who can do their jobs effectively. Sometimes, certain workers just don't measure up and their incompetence may begin to affect the productivity and morale of other employees. Getting rid of a bad employee is a distasteful task. However, if you've exhausted all other means of motivating a bad employee, then the time has come to sever your working relationship.

  • Take the employee out to lunch and discuss his job performance. Explain to him that his work is below the acceptable level and that you've notified human resources that his job status is in jeopardy. Listen to what he has to say, but remain calm and authoritative about where he stands with his job.

  • Create a file for the bad employee that documents every work incident that isn't in compliance with your company's standards. Include any instances of improper behavior as well as performance evaluations. Make a copy of this file and give it to your human resources manager.

  • Make a plan for termination. Decide the location, date and time that you will get rid of the employee. Make sure at least one other person is with you on the date of termination -- preferably a human resources representative -- to be a witness if the employee threatens you. Determine who will take over the employee's work duties and projects once he's gone.

  • Talk to your human resources manager and create a document that lists how long the employee's health coverage will last, the status of any pension plans, payment for unused vacation and the amount of his last paycheck.

  • Have the meeting with the employee in a private area. State your reasons for getting rid of him in a calm and measured voice. Keep the meeting brief and be clear that your decision is final and not subject to negotiation. Leave the room so the human resources representative can review the employee's final paycheck, severance package and the status of his insurance and pension plans.

Tips & Warnings

  • Schedule a private time when no one is around for the employee to pick up his personal items.
  • Avoid offering advice during the termination meeting as the employee may later use your words against you if he files a lawsuit.
  • Don't allow yourself to be put on the defensive by the employee.

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