10 Signs It Is Time To Let A Problem Employee Go

by Chris Young

Problem employees are like cancer to a team and company. 

Unfortunately, many managers try to "work through" issues problem employees create.  The result is typically regret that action was not taken earlier.  Most managers attempt to "raise the dead" rather than "give birth" to new potential via new employees.Problem Employees resized 600

Here are ten signs it is time to let the problem employee go:

  1. Given the choice, you would not hire them again.
  2. If you were forced to rank your employees into quintiles, you would give the problem employee a "C" or place their performance in the bottom 20%.
  3. You keep thinking about the problem employee and cannot come up with a workable solution.
  4. The problem employee does not respond to coaching with a positive attitude.
  5. The problem employee does not believe in what the company does.
  6. The problem employee does not believe in the management.
  7. The problem employee does not fit the culture.
  8. The problem employee is an active part of the problem - they talk about what they cannot do rather than what can be done to solve the problem.
  9. The problem employee is resistant to beneficial change in the business model or process.
  10. Other employee team members repeatedly approach you regarding unacceptable behaviors that violate their code of conduct.

Many managers and companies do not rectify problem employee issues until it is too late.  From my experience, most problem employee issues are a direct reflection of low Job Fit.  Most likely the poor Job Fit also means the employee is miserable in their position.  Therefore, it is often better to consider taking action sooner-than-later.