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It’s a difficult topic that not many business leaders are comfortable handling, but it is a necessity. Firing an ineffective employee is something that will always exist in the workplace despite it being seen as one of the hardest things to do. However, in order to be a great leader and manager, you must adopt the skills necessary to terminate an employee in a professional manner.

Building a great organization means building the best team possible, and hiring those who you believe fit that puzzle. It is not uncommon, and, perhaps, highly likely, that you will make a bad hire at least once in your time as a business leader and/or hiring manager, and the statistics seem to support this. Roughly 46% of new hires fail within their first 18 months of employment. Refusing to acknowledge this will surely result in your company succumbing to this numbers, thus resulting in poor business.

It is absolutely vital to accurately identify signs of a failing employee in order to address the situation as early as possible. For example, are they regularly missing deadlines or not meeting the quality of work that you hold your business’s standards to? Or, are they becoming a source of tension among others and causing disarray? Once the issue is recognized, it should first be addressed with a conversation.

When sitting down with problem employees, establish your expectations and why they are or are not meeting them, give them the resources they need to improve themselves, and begin to schedule regular meetings in order to monitor their progression, or regression. Once you’ve given them time to improve, reassess and decide whether or not termination is required.

Take a number of factors into consideration when making this critical decision. For example, assess whether or not you think this employee has the desire to do his or her job. Many instances can take place in which an employee loses inspiration and their efforts decrease dramatically.

Maybe they don’t possess the skills required to complete the job. If it’s a case in which the employee is highly motivated yet lacking in skill, mentoring would be a better fit than simply letting them go. A different position within the company may showcase their skills more.

There are occasions in which termination is the obvious answer, however. If the employee seems to be causing a number of problems on a regular basis without providing solutions, they are a kink in the chain. If there is an obvious disconnect between your company’s culture and their behavior and/or attitude, they are most likely not a good fit. If they are a constant source of stress for other employees and take part in verbal arguments regularly, termination is absolutely necessary.

One should never feel guilty in the case of firing an employee so long as the reasons are sound. In order to avoid putting yourself in this position altogether, know how to hire effectively. Commit yourself to rigorous recruiting and hiring methods. The more effort you put into this, the more likely you are to hire the best employees possible.