Sometimes You Have to Fire People. Here’s When and Here’s How

by Evil HR Lady on September 27, 2016

Being a manager can be awesome. You get to set goals, lead people, and truly shape your department. However, you also have to coach, cajole, and discipline people. Sometimes you even have to fire people. Firing people is really, really, really hard. Knowing if you should fire someone can sometimes be even harder–even though the signs should be obvious. The signs often aren’t obvious when you’re in the thick of things and have emotions running high.

To help you out through this difficult time of managing, click here: 5 Signs it’s Time to Fire Your Employee (And How to Do it With Respect)

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire September 27, 2016 at 2:10 pm

I always struggle with the mostly completed PIP. What’s your view on extending PIPs?


Evil HR Lady September 27, 2016 at 2:22 pm

That is a really good question. In theory, I like to be hard line: You didn’t do everything. Hit the road!

In practice, it doesn’t seem that simple. Especially when the person is trying super hard and has made tremendous progress. Then I’m more prone to extend 30 days with it clear that at 30 days there needs to be 100 percent.

firing people sucks.


LaraW September 27, 2016 at 4:58 pm

I see conflicting information on PIPs, that doing written warnings treats employees like children. But, how else are people supposed to know what the expectations are, timelines, etc. What are your thoughts about this advice?


Anonymous September 27, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Ever considered it is management that is the problem. The employee gets so jaded s/he does not want to bother with dealing with management anymore.
As a matter of fact, s/he puts in the minimum and actively tries to evade interaction with management. Just biding his / her time before getting a new job.


burnout September 27, 2016 at 9:15 pm

Can I fire myself?


Engineer Girl September 28, 2016 at 10:16 pm

You left off “employee is insubordinate”. Technically it is a part of office norms but I think it is different.
An insubordinate employee won’t be managed.


grumpy October 26, 2016 at 5:50 pm

I would love to read something more detailed about PIPs – I was arbitrarily threatened with one on the basis of not meeting a work standard/expectation which had never been previously expressed to me, which I do not have the professional background to meet in the time frame outlined (the manager sometimes gets me confused with other people in my office who do different but related work), and which contradicted the performance standards that my manager and I had signed off on at the beginning of the year. The threat to me was eventually retracted, but I would like to know more about PIP’s appropriate (and inappropriate) use.


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