4 signs it’s time to replace one of your employees

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Even the most cynical of managers does not like to terminate an employee, particularly when it appears that employee had no idea it was about to happen. If there are no signs that someone was “taking the hint” and looking for new employment, this is tough, but sometimes necessary.

You’re forced to downsize

If the company is downsizing, and it is being respectful of such issues as seniority, if applicable, at least there is a bit more impersonal reason to explain to the employee why he/she is being terminated. You can offer a letter of recommendation and, hopefully, the company will put together a good severance package. If insurance is not part of that package, you can take extra time to explain options, or, better yet, call in someone from HR on the spot to answer questions.  Let him/her know if there are similar companies around or, in special cases, “people you know.” Stay within the guidelines of the company when doing this, however.


The bottom line is that if the company is truly downsizing, this employee has likely been dedicated and a valued member of your staff who will be missed. It is okay to go an extra mile to help that employee transition and you may feel a bit better about the termination. 

There are budget cuts

If part of the company’s game plan is to reduce costs through termination of any kind, if there is a downsizing, termination could go from the top down. You could try to save jobs, but the company has its reasons and unless you can draw a direct line from retaining an employee and, say, the likely loss of a big client, it is probably a done deal.

It falls to you to terminate this likely long-term employee, and that is painful. You are human, and it is okay to feel badly about this. But as the process goes on, you have to be professional. 

The employee is no longer performing well 

You might know that you are sure that an employee who has not grown in a job is just being lazy or contrary in its resistance to change, you might be right. But you need to be sure. Make sure this employee has no claim possibility such as an illness, disability, or something else of which you might not be aware. Make sure your reasons are not in any way personal. Managers are people, too.  

Make sure you have set the right example for this employee and have done everything you could to encourage training and upward mobility even within the same position. Maybe the expectations, your expectations, are too high for the position.  

If you notice the employee is taking a lot of extra time away from the office, maybe he/she sees you doing the same. Maybe you are delegating things he/she thinks you should be doing. Just examine it all before you proceed to termination. Maybe there is another position within the company. Just be sure you have thought it through. It is okay to give the employee another chance if you are in doubt. 

Rehiring for the position

Whether you had to terminate an employee due to budget cuts, or you had to let him or her go because of their performance, you may need to eventually refill that position. In some situations, it might be an almost immediate transition, so it’s crucial to get your job search started as quickly as possible.


Find a replacement on WorkSearch.com

Making the decision to fire an employee and replace that individual is always a difficult decision to make. Alas, in certain situations, it needs to be done. When privacy is of the utmost importance, you can rely on WorkSearch.com to help you find the next best candidate. Sign up as a job seeker today and get matched with qualified individuals in your area.

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