Know When It’s Time to Fire Someone

We all know the obvious signs it’s time to fire someone:

  • Productivity is low and/or bad behavior gets worse after talking to an employee.
  • They complain about other employees and bring down morale.
  • A no call, no show is a sure sign of someone with one foot out the door.
  • Chronic lateness or leaving early regularly.
  • Customers or vendors are complaining about their interactions with this employee.

These are perfect examples of a costly mis-hire.

Hiring Managers have the tough job of hiring, training and leading their chosen team and then promoting or firing the people they have invested in. It’s not always easy to let someone go after you have spent a lot of time and effort in training them and assisting in their growth in your company. Sometimes it’s very obvious when it’s time to let someone go, but other times it can be harder to tell and very difficult to decipher if it’s time to let a person go. Because this decision is so difficult it is tempting to not have to make the decision at all. Some hiring managers will let the little things go for too long because they hope things are going to get better.

But what about some of the less obvious signs?

For example: You have an employee who is consistently underperforming but they are getting their basic job duties done at least to the minimum expectation. That employer holds on to that employee based on an expectation that things will change because eventually it will turn around. The employer has a bar that he wishes to be reached and since they have not hit it so many times, they are bound to hit it eventually. They know the employee’s potential and are hoping they reach it.

It is a fallacy to believe that things are going to change without any other outside influences, simply because “it’s bound to happen.” You know their potential and they haven’t been hitting it for 10 months so they are bound to get better in the 11th month.

“The Gambler’s Fallacy is committed when a person assumes that a departure from what occurs on average or in the long term will be corrected in the short term” –

Think about a coin toss. If the coin landed on heads 6 times you would probably bet money that the coin would land on tails the next time. But it is no more likely to land on tails the 7th time than it was the first 6 times. Each coin flip on its own has a 50% chance of landing on heads and 50% chance of landing on tails. The fallacy is that we believe the probability changes once we have seen the same outcome too many times.

Pay attention to the signs that someone isn’t fully invested in your company and its growth. If someone is consistently underperforming, don’t just let it slide and hope it gets better. Give yourself a deadline and give that employee a warning. If you don’t see an improvement by the deadline after speaking with this employee, it’s time to make the hard choice.

If you’re a Hiring Manager in the Renewable Energy industry and would like more information on what the best solar and energy storage recruiters could do for your organization, we would be more than happy to share with you the value we provide to our clients. You can reach us at (916) 565-2700 Monday through Friday 8am to 4pm Pacific.