HR Factor: ‘Asking to Leave’ an obligation of management

Employee performance is essential ingredient for organization sustainability and its survival. Jagdeep Kaur argues that non-performers may badly affect organizational culture and specially to high performers.

By Jagdeep Kaur

Organizations today exist to provide work to people by means of making profits and satisfying its investors for its survival and the former objective can be accomplished by the achievement of later. Thus it becomes imperative for companies to save themselves from employing people in the wrong slots. As in this way they are actually employing dangerously disastrous people who shall act as an impediment in its growth. Neither the company nor the employee can have any future in this scenario.

Unfortunately, the HR managers can be misled while hiring the potential candidates as there are numerous means to draft an impeccable resume that can charm any hirer. But two months down the line, when the management realizes that the candidate is not right for the job, they are caught in a fix. In situations like this the organization finds it tough to ask the non-performing employee to leave.

If he is not asked to go, others in the organization suffer because of him. Such non-performing human assets become an overhead to the company and keep moving as floaters filling spaces from one department to another. This leads to blocking of positions which can actually be taken up by others who could do things much better. If a company continuously fails to purge chronic poor performers, the best performers will either believe that the company condones lackluster performance, or assumes that it doesn’t know the difference.

No doubt it becomes emotionally impossible to ask such employees to leave but companies cannot carry on this baggage as it takes a toll on its existing hi-fliers. Such high performers tend to move on to other companies to fly high, where their heights are not restricted by non-performers who are simply stalling their promotion and growth. This also demotivates the workforce and infuses the concept of mediocrity in the organization as high performance is not rightly rewarded.

The companies need to take a call and have hard-hearted firers on the move to call off those employees who are like an illness in which if you don’t cut a finger the whole body shall die. No matter how upsetting it is for the firer or the employee, it has to be done. Some non-performers can be dealt with counseling and coaching but a few are just beyond correction.In such cases it is important for small businesses, perhaps even more so than large ones, to terminate employees when such action is warranted, but it is important to do it the right way.

In order to avoid numerous possible pitfalls like reduction in morale and productivity among remaining employees, a decline in the company’s public image, or difficulty in recruiting new employees, the company should ask the employees to leave in a manner that there’s no lasting negative effect on the company or on the employee who is exiting.

Jagdeep KaurFollowing steps should be followed before asking the non-performers to exit:
1. Provide constructive feedback so that the employee knows that he is failing
2. Give factual feedback on how performance improvement strategies are not making an impact on him.
3. Put him on Performance improvement plan and put targets he has to achieve, failing which he should leave voluntarily.

( Jagdeep Kaur is the Vice President at HR Globe Consulting, Netherlands. She can be reached at