8. Violence towards Other Employees
Anyone who works at an office is expected to conduct themselves professionally. This includes handling arguments and differences in a professional manner. Raised voices during an argument are frowned upon, but physical altercations are even more serious. Employees engaging in a fistfight are clearly showing signs of disrespect for their colleagues, not to mention total disregard to company property and its clients.
Bringing dangerous weapons into the workplace is also a concern. This is because you should always presume employees who bring weapons intend to use them. To combat this, you should emphasize that your company is a safe place to work and discourage or prohibit the presence of weapons on company property.
Verbal bullying can also be categorized as harassment but more specifically addresses an employee’s conscious decision to make a colleague feel unsafe continuously. They may not necessarily fixate on a specific person to harass but, instead, create an uncomfortable working vibe for everyone in general. Anger management problems and issues with authority are telltale signs of someone more likely to commit this offense.
9. Drug Use in the Workplace
Employees are expected to come to work alert and prepared to be productive, so the use of recreational drugs should be strictly prohibited. There is an increase in healthcare costs for employers, an increase in employee turnover, and ultimately a decrease in profitability. There’s also the risk of possible side effects such as hostile and aggressive behavior in users that can cause businesses to lose customers and, eventually, sales.
Drug abuse comes in many forms, and employers usually send erring employees home to recover. A business owner who has a written policy describing drug abuse as a fireable offense is within their rights to fire an employee if the use of recreational drugs adversely affects work performance.
10. Alcohol Intoxication during Work Hours
There are a variety of signs that can help identify employees who are intoxicated on the job like slurred speech and weakened balance. These incidents are common to shift employees because of the unique and irregular hours that they pull but vary for other companies, based on hiring demographics and time of year.
When approaching an employee who is possibly under the influence of alcohol, substance abuse experts suggest you focus on your observation of their actions instead of stating an assumption. Address what you can see, such as slurred speech and alcohol odor to get a less defensive response from the employee.
11. Breaking Client Confidentiality
Breaking client confidentiality is another serious offense and is almost always grounds for termination. Businesses spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising to build public trust in their brand. This is important because employees who process transactions on the company’s behalf are privileged with the client’s personal information. Any incident that results in a business releasing a client’s information to the public will erode the brand’s good name and can cause serious legal ramifications.
An employee knowingly releasing client information for unofficial reasons, even accidentally, such as unauthorized forwarding of company email is a serious threat to a company’s future. Make sure that you have a procedure that checks a person’s background before getting hired and a strong data storage policy in place.
12. Falsification of Company Documents
Company records are official documents and should never be misrepresented in any way. Some employees tamper with company documents in their personal records to make themselves appear better than they are. This documentation can be time records, sales performance reports, and even financial statements if they are attempting to hide misappropriated money.
Tampering with one’s time card is a serious offense. This implies a growing negative culture within the company and should be addressed immediately. An employee might clock out before the workday ends, adding more overtime for no reason or not receive penalties for tardiness. This is possible even in this age of advanced technology where surveillance and biometrics are available.
When this happens, business owners should not only terminate the employees but also take a close look at the company’s culture to find the deeper reason why employees feel the need to tamper with their time records. Remember that this kind of offense is usually a result of collusion and that it’s highly unlikely that one person is doing it alone.
Intentionally damaging company property is a serious form of vandalism that should not be tolerated. Employees who commit this act are displaying aggression and violence that can be deemed dangerous and, as a business owner, your responsibility is to keep your employees safe within the workplace. This is why this is considered gross misconduct and is a cause for termination after the incident is properly investigated.
If, after investigation, you find red flags that confirm a potentially violent employee, your next step should focus on how to issue the termination notice safely. You should consider waiting until the end of the workday to terminate. This protects the dignity of the fired employee and minimizes the number of employees on hand should a situation escalate. You should also have security close enough to hear signs of a problem and to act immediately if needed.
Neglecting one’s work duties and company policies are not usually subject to outright termination. However, if an employee does not show signs of improvement after several verbal and written warnings, termination should be considered. Employees are expected to be productive and mindful of company policies that ensure everyone’s safety, and anyone who repeatedly fails to do their part endangers the business and people who work in it.
Although not desirable, sometimes, a manager’s job includes firing an employee. Toxic behavior does not have a place in the workplace and, because it hinders productivity and disrupts company culture, you have to police it. Use our list of tips to help you identify reasons to fire someone who impedes the growth of your business.
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I hope this article helps you to understand when and why you should fire an employee…
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