When Is It Really Time for Employees to Go?

Time for Employees to Go

When is it really time for employees to go?  This is a difficult and challenging question for many leaders who rightfully feel the weight of relationships, loyalty, friendships, and payroll.

Employee attrition is rarely an easy process or a desired outcome.  High employee retention is often seen as a key talent management indicator of a healthy culture, trusted leadership and a solid strategic growth plan.  But not all employees should be retained.

Consistent Under Performance
Let’s start with the easiest situation from a performance perspective. If you want to create a high performance culture, employees who are consistently under performing (even after you have given them help to try to turn their performance around) should be let go within 90-days. Why?

Under performers drag down the rest of the team causing performance, morale and engagement to suffer.  This happens in two ways.  First, high performers notice under performers who remain on the team and realize that they do not have to perform at as high of a level.  This typically causes great dissatisfaction for high performers who want to work with other high performers.  Secondly, under performers begin to overestimate their own contribution and become a challenge to properly manage.

Barely Acceptable Performance
But what if employees are performing at a barely acceptable level? There are two questions you need to answer before it is really time for employees to go who are barley performing:

  1. Are they committed to improving?
  2. Are they negatively affecting their co-workers?

If they are working hard to improve their performance, and they are not toxic to their team environment, then you should try to work with them in a way that aligns with your corporate values and talent management philosophy. The key is their attitude. If they are eager to perform at a higher level and will work hard to improve their skills, you likely have a winner. In our experience, skills can be taught – attitude cannot.

Employee engagement training experts know that it is really time for employees to when they are under performers and have poor attitudes. Not only are they cheating the organization’s potential by their poor performance results, they are also undermining the engagement and performance of others.  Have the difficult conversation and let them go in a kind and compassionate way…it will be better for both the employee and the organization.

To learn more about retaining top talent, download The Only 16-Step Employee Retention Strategy You Need

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