Fire employees who work on the edge of contribution.

5 Reasons to Fire an Employee Who Contributes

In Building Your Team by Jason Cortel

Recently I have been struggling with a misconception in my office. Why would you fire someone who contributes and doesn’t participate in the extras? At the beginning of the year I challenged my team to produce the absolute best employee our company has ever seen. This goal encompasses all of the core values the company has held since its birth. In order to do that every single person on the team needs to give their all every day. Everyone was on board and excited about seeing that goal come true.

As we look around the office we see so many employees living up to that goal. We also see some who are opting for mediocrity over excellence. When you are trying to build a culture of excellence and you demand excellence what do you do when someone isn’t meeting that expectation? You remove them from the equation otherwise they poison the rest of the team. Mediocrity is the kryptonite for excellence just as good is the enemy of great.

Here are 5 reasons to fire an employee who contributes:

Walking the Edge – This employee walks a very fine line, finer than the trapeze artists at the circus. They stay just on the edge of keeping their job, barely following policies and processes and barely meeting performance expectations. They will sometimes reach goals but exhibit a general lack of enthusiasm. They live in a place just between succeeding and failing.

Average Performing – This employee doesn’t wow you with results. They fall in the middle or close to the top but never reaching the top of the scale. They come to work just in time and leave right on time. There is no evidence to support any extra effort on their part. They rarely help themselves much less their peers to be successful.

Demotivated – During the interview process people are excited and motivated to contribute. That needs to be maintained after they are hired. These employees lose their motivation after a short-time but not short enough to fall within the 90-day probation period. There is no passion for their work or their team. When you present them with a challenge their responses are non-committal and lack enthusiasm.

Lack of Growth – Change will always occur and people need to be comfortable with change and find ways to face it head on and adapt. When you work for a fast-paced company it is critical that they keep their skills growing at the pace with the company. However, these employees don’t grow their skills. They feel they are good enough or that they perform so it isn’t needed. What can be worse is they say this isn’t my career I’m only biding my time. These employees will only help your team stand still and if left unchecked start digressing.

Deadbeat – The deadbeat is a combination of any or all of the above. Some will go so far as to criticize the company and its practices but not though the proper channels. These employees employ the water cooler, email and break room to spread their complaints, gossip and criticism. They are constantly unhappy and they are quick to spread that unhappiness in an attempt to recruit others into their dark and lonely cubical.

If you have ever wondered whether you should fire someone who contributes the answer should be YES if they fall into any of the above categories. Keeping an employee like those mentioned above on your team causes others to pick up the slack, become demoralized because there are no consequences for being mediocre and finally a loss of respect for your management.

There is more to building a team that strives for excellence than just delivering results, which are very important. When you have someone on your team that falls into the above categories you will soon find a team that lacks ambition, growth, drive and ultimately results.

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Jason Cortel

Jason Cortel

Call Center Manager
An accomplished sales and marketing operations executive in demand generation, client services and technical support industries. Jason has proven leadership, strategic planning, and problem solving skills. He is recognized for having the ability to develop client-focused organizational cultures resulting in significantly higher customer satisfaction and retention.
Jason Cortel5 Reasons to Fire an Employee Who Contributes