5 Reasons managers give for not firing workers

Businessman in a suit carrying a box of files and clipboards.

Firing someone from the office is the manager’s task. It involves having a difficult talk with the concerned employee and usually makes the office mood sad and gloomy. Just so they can avoid this uncomfortable talk, managers often ignore the danger signs of an employee not performing up to the mark. Most managers delay firing someone just because they feel that the employee has potential and it’s the organisation’s fault they haven’t performed efficiently.

Here is a list of the top five excuses that managers make to circumvent firing a member of the staff.

5. They feel the employee will change

Changing an employee’s behaviour can be the toughest task that a manager has to undertake. Believing that a person will change is not wrong, but the caveat here is that every individual has a different rate of learning and changing. Hence, when a manager decides to wait for an employee to change, that time is filled with risk and uncertainty. However, increasing the productivity of an employee is a tough task and takes time. An underperforming employee won’t just do an 180-degree turn and change into a high performer.

The manager should observe the performance of all employees. If it appears to be declining, there is no need to act quickly and find a replacement.

4. They like the person

Building relationships is a key role of the manager. Without being on good terms their employees, they may not get honest feedback and may be seen as anti-social.

This is what makes the job even more difficult: they need to do all this without befriending the employees. When their friend’s performance is faltering, firing becomes more difficult.

3. Finding a replacement takes a lot of time

Looking for replacements is a task that comes with doubts and risk. The chances of firing an under-performer and finding a high-performer are low. Managers don’t have the time to keep looking for replacements, and hence they delay firing their current under-performers.

2. The firm has invested a lot in this employee

Hiring new employees takes up a lot of investment from the firm’s point of view. Because of these expenditures like training, administration and other costs, most firms avoid such an investment frequently. Once the employees are hired, it can hit hard if they don’t perform as expected. Managers think of the high costs involved which make them delay firing such an employee.

However, managers need to think about the benefits a high-performer will bring to the organisation. Due to the good performance, the firm will benefit in the form of increased sales and better customer satisfaction.

1. But… I hired him!

In case an employee is not performing well, and the manager has hired him, it looks bad. Therefore, managers delay firing the employee and rather blame themselves for the failure. The solution to this is: take immediate action. If you made a mistake, admit it and take some action before it takes up even more time and money. Managers should not care what others think and look at the long-term results this will bring.

Firing an employee is a difficult task; but if the employee is bringing the organisation down by wasting time and resources, it is time to move on.