When to Fire Bad Employees

In an uncertain economy, every employee counts. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine when the time is right to let an employee go. You might, for example, feel that a bad employee is difficult to replace, or that they’ll shape up “eventually.” Holding on to a bad employee, however, can poison morale, represent your restaurant badly to guests, and cost money for work that isn’t being completed. How do you know when it’s time to cut the cord? Look for these key signs. 

Sign #1: The Employee Fails to Respond to Correction

You’ve gone through all the right steps: talking with the employee, issuing a warning, letting them know that you’re going to take action if they don’t fix problem behaviors. Unfortunately, they still aren’t fixing things. If an employee won’t respond to correction, it’s time to let them go. 

Sign #2: The Employee is Unpredictable

You never know how this employee is going to respond on a given day. Some days, they’re great; other days, they can’t seem to get anything done. If you have an employee who is struggling to provide consistent service to your guests, it may be time to go another direction. 

Sign #3: The Employee is Causing Problems with Others

When an employee starts to negatively impact the rest of your team, you can’t afford to keep them around. Whether it’s a problem with morale or a tendency to stir the pot, creating problems where there don’t need to be problems, an employee who regularly creates problems isn’t worth keeping at your restaurant. 

Sign #4: The Employee Doesn’t Show Respect for Your Restaurant or Your Authority

If you’re working with an employee who consistently fails to show respect, they’re unlikely to start just because you’ve asked them to. An employee who no call/no shows doesn’t respect your restaurant, your time, or your customers. Not only that, an employee who is consistently disrespectful to you may not show appropriate respect to customers.

Knowing when to let employees go can be tough. When you pay attention to the problems they’re causing, however, you’ll often find that it makes more sense to let go of a bad employee than it does to stick with them in spite of their shortcomings. If you’re seeing these signs, it’s definitely time to consider letting a bad employee go. 


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