3 Signs You Need to Replace an Employee (And Where To Start)

Obvious reasons to fire someone: catch them in blatant, rampant embezzlement; grow tired of their constant sexist and racist diatribes; lose patience as they continually show up to customer meetings wearing a mesh muscle shirt and parachute pants.

Most of the time, though, situations don’t offer such clarity. By and large, employees will meet the minimum standards of office behavior and achieve at least bare minimum level of competence in their job performance. But staying just this side of terrible doesn’t guarantee a job for life though. There are some subtler signs that it’s time for an employee to go.

Here are some signs that you should consider replacing an employee:

Growing Unreliability

The ultimate test of an unreliable employee: the no-call no show. Maybe one time, a series of unfortunate events can make this understandable. A car broke down at the same time a cell phone battery went dead, on a road where no one ever passes. But if this kind of thing happens repeatedly, that’s a concerning pattern.

Unreliability comes in less obvious forms as well. Do you avoid giving key assignments to a certain employee? Do you always make sure someone else looks over his or her work before a client sees it?

If you can’t count on an employee, or if they require constant babysitting, you should consider moving on.

Complaints (Either External or Internal)

Complaints from customers represents the ultimate red flag. Once in a while, there are customers who find fault with everything. Not every complaint about an employee is a fireable offence. But if an employee inspires a string of complaints from different clients, it should make you consider making a drastic change.

Customer complaints serve as an obvious signal, but there are other opinions that matter as well. Complaints from other employees should trigger a review of a worker’s future as well.

There are obvious signs of trouble, such as sexual harassment complaints. More subtle complaints should also encourage you to look into things in further detail. If employees go out of their way to avoid teaming up with a particular person, or if the vibe around the office suggests someone has become an issue for morale, it might be time to intervene.

You Wouldn’t Hire Them If They Applied For The Job Now

There is a concept in stock trading: don’t sit on a stock that you wouldn’t buy at the current price. You shouldn’t think of buying a stock as a single event.  You are constantly buying it. Every second you own a stock, you are in the process of buying it, since holding it ties up funds that could be used on other investments. Bottom line, if you wouldn’t buy the same stock right now at the price it is trading at, you should sell it and move on to another opportunity.

The same is true of employees. If you were hiring for a position, and your employee came in to interview, would you hire them right now, knowing everything you know about them? If not, it might be time to move on.

But how do you move on from a problem employee while not causing significant disruption? The best short-term solution might be a staffing firm.

A quality temp firm can help find a competent replacement immediately, allowing you to eliminate a bad situation without costing any production. LaborMax is a top staffing agency with the necessary expertise to smooth over any employee crises you are facing.