Often, employers know that an employee is not a good fit in the organization. Reasons for this can range from performance, cultural fit, misplaced in a role, and so on. If you are a good manager, you’ve exercised candor with this employee and they know that they are not a right fit for the job or are not performing. If you haven’t, stop reading and start speaking with that employee and implement a coach up or progressive discipline program as is required. Once you’ve implemented the appropriate method to communicate the need to improve with this employee and it still isn’t working, you MUST let them go.

Many managers know long before they make up their mind to let go of an employee that it needs to happen. In the time between when the manager makes up his mind and when the employee is let go, here is what is happening in your business.

  • This employee’s poor performance is being rewarded with lack of accountability.
  • Your stress levels are increasing thinking about the conversations.
  • Your company is becoming a less enjoyable place to work because your team must continue to tolerate the poor performance of their peer.
  • If this employee is customer facing, your business it at risk with these clients.
    • Customers stay very happy if they have good experiences with MANY employees.
    • Customers leave when they have a poor experience with JUST ONE employee.

This time of year, managers say, “I don’t want to ruin his Christmas so I’ll wait until next year to let him go.” You are not doing any favors for this employee, the rest of your team, your customers or yourself.

If you let the employee go after the new year, they will be entering a job market that becomes full of people who are laid off after the holidays. They may have also spent a lot of money on gifts and meals that they would not have spent had they known they would be let go. If you don’t want to ruin this employee’s holidays, do the following:

  • Let him go and speak honestly.
  • Pay him as much as you can afford to through the holiday to ease their financial burden.
  • Hire a recruiter/career coach service to help them prepare for a job search and their next job.

Recently, a peer took this advice as he was going to let go of a manager in the new year rather than ruin his Thanksgiving and Christmas. Instead he gained the respect of his team and the respect of the manager who was let go. Rather than paying the manager by letting him stay, he gave him the money and access to career coaches, so he could enter the new year with energy rather than as a lame duck.