When do I fire an employee?

Get in here if you are an Employer! I’m sure you don’t know when to fire an employee… No sentiments, Trust me…. Employees who don’t fit into the company’s culture tend to behave in a way that disrupts productivity. Behaviors like dishonesty are fire-able offenses and create more harm than good, this does not exclude the most skilled and highest performers. When this happens, it’s essential for business owners to have concrete procedures and reasons to fire someone.

Here are some fireable offenses to maintain productivity in the workplace.

1. Theft and Misuse of Company Property

The most common form of theft in the workplace is of company merchandise or property. This affects not only retail shops but even private offices as well. Business owners also need to take the incidence of petty theft seriously to set a clear precedent and prevent a more significant incident in the future.

2. Excessive Absenteeism

Absenteeism in itself is usually not considered a fireable offense, but frequent and excessive absenteeism is a cause for concern. The issue becomes more about the employee’s attitude than just time management skills. A more severe form of this offense is an employee’s failure to show up at work without giving you any notice they are taking leave. Managers must review their policies and overall culture to prevent this kind of incident in the workplace.

3. Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest in the workplace exists when an employee personally benefits from their position in the company. An opportunity to use one’s influence in the business for personal gain can be tempting. In a business, employees deal with customers, suppliers, and other employees who may attempt to get more out of their interaction. When left unchecked, this kind of behavior can negatively affect the company’s brand and bottom line.

Conflict of interest comes in many forms:

  • Familial: Hiring family members and favoring them over other candidates or workers
  • Romantic: When one employee is romantically involved with someone else affiliated with the business―coworker, client, and so on―and gains from it
  • Financial: When an employee accepts payment from other people in exchange for special treatment
  • Confidential: When an employee divulges confidential business information to other people in exchange for privileges

You must make the lines clear for your employees and specify what constitutes a conflict of interest. More often than not, it starts with a simple offense that employees assume is harmless.

4. Social Media Misconduct

Social media plays an important role in a company’s brand, so it’s natural for business owners to protect their reputation online. Some employees take their disagreements online when they can’t express themselves in the workplace. This can result in shaming, bullying and, sometimes, even accidental sharing of company procedures to the public, potentially causing your target market to develop a negative impression of your business.

Here are some of the actions to prohibit employees from doing on social media:

  • Behaving disrespectfully against the business and its managers
  • Posting false or inaccurate content
  • Taking arguments with coworkers online
  • Speaking to media representatives on the company’s behalf without authorization

If this happens, make sure that you have your HR manager immediately address the situation. Follow up on the complaints, conduct an investigation, and discipline or fire the offending employee.

5. Insubordination

Insubordination refers to an employee who is outright disobedient or disrespectful to a manager or owner of a business. It’s not always grounds for termination, but it becomes serious the moment the employee displays a blatant disregard for company procedures. This disruptive behavior leads to adverse effects that create a less pleasant working environment and a decrease in overall morale and productivity in the workplace.

Some employees dismiss commands or miss deadlines intentionally as a sign of defiance. Some issue multiple excuses and refuse to apologize for any missed deadlines or uncompleted tasks. Other insubordinate behavior includes employees who, instead of taking responsibility for their actions, assign blame to other members of the work team for missed or incomplete work.

6. Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome sexual behavior is a serious, fireable offense that every company takes seriously. It refers to any uninvited comments, conduct, or behavior regarding sex, gender, or sexual orientation. While this was originally designed to protect women, laws against sexual harassment also ensure that men in the workplace are not pressured into a compromising situation to keep their job. Companies encourage employees to observe proper behavior through mandatory training.

7. Discrimination in the workplace

Even at this age where people have become more sensitive with issues on equality, there are still incidents of discrimination due to a person’s race or gender in the workplace. This can be anything from an employee expressing gender or racially charged insults to being passed on for promotion due to ethnicity. Discrimination can create a hostile and intimidating work environment for all employees, so it’s important to promote a culture that encourages reporting and awareness of this behavior. More often than not, discrimination in the workplace is due to ignorance and can be prevented through training. In the meantime, don’t wait for a situation to escalate before acting on a complaint. Remember not to jump to conclusions as well.

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I hope this article helps you to understand when and why you should fire an employee… Keep reading and subscribe to our blog for latest HR Learnings

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