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Time to Fire or Invest in Employee Performance?

By Michael Heller Performance Management

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So you’ve hired a qualified candidate who fit your team culture. After a few weeks of onboarding, it’s time for your new hire to start delivering results on their own projects. Unfortunately, after a few days of patiently monitoring their progress, expectations just don’t seem to be met. Or maybe, the new hire has far more questions about processes than you expected to be hearing.

Whatever the case, when employees are underperforming in an otherwise successful team, it’s natural to begin wondering just how suitable the employee is for your organization.

You Have Two Options:

Fire and rehire. The knee-jerk reaction, especially when the new hire has been underperforming far longer than initially planned, is to give up and find someone else. Of course, that comes at a cost. In addition to the time and money spent on recruiting new candidates, there’s the chance the skilled talent you’re looking for doesn’t actually exist or wants a hefty paycheck.

You hired for cultural fit, but didn't expect all these other what? @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet

Invest in continuous training and development. This option is a little less of an immediate solution, and development programs come with a resource and financial cost as well. Additionally, not all new hires underperform due to lack of skill, so it’s important to consider the employee in question. Just remember, lack of advancement was the number one reason people left their job.   Of course, you probably already knew those options and are looking for the right choice for your team. When determining the best course of action, take a look at your underperformer and ask these questions:

Are they trainable?

Obviously, there’s no point in continuing to develop or support the employee if their attitude and demeanor is anything other than trainable. Generally, trainability has nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with attitude. If the employee is resilient, dedicated and able to check their ego at the door, you probably have a trainable hire who could use a little extra time and direction. If on the other hand, you hear complaints from tenured employees about an attitude problem or an unwillingness to follow your company’s protocol, then termination may be best for you and the individual. If you can’t train, there’s no way they can become a better worker for you.

Does trainability have anything to do with level of intelligence? @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet

Do they fit the culture?

Choosing the right hire is challenging. There’s a great deal of thought that goes into the process which means there’s a lot of room for error and with 89% of hiring failures attributed to cultural fit pouring over resumes and comparing skills on paper might still lead to an unsuccessful hire. Determining cultural dissonance is something you can’t do alone, so it’s important you encourage the employee to be honest about their comfort levels. Touch on attributes of your organization like their feelings on the fast-paced deadlines or collaborative work environment. Sometimes you can address those issues within your organization, amend a few processes and be a more diverse team because of it, while sometimes there’s just no changing the industry and client needs.

Read: What can you learn from the underdog?

Could they excel somewhere else?

Sometimes you hire a team member who truly jives with your ethos and just seems to fit your organization, yet can’t seem to be producing the caliber of work you hired them for. Before throwing in the towel on an otherwise amazing hire, take a better look at your team. Is there an opening in another department or a looming project the employee might actually excel at managing? You might find that the individual has a talent you never knew you needed and may even free up the time of another employee who has been interested in moving to the position you hired the new employee for.

Before firing the employee, have you tried this? @Engagiant_iRevu Click To Tweet

Read: How to Make Your Business Fairy Tale Come True  

Between the pressure to find great talent and lead that talent to success, hiring and managing are two common terms that hold so much responsibility, it’s frightening. Once you factor in the estimated cost of recruiting and employing new additions, companies really have a ton on their plate. Maintain the balancing act with a real-time, easy to implement employee performance management solution like iRevü. See our performance management systems for more details.


Michael Heller

Posted By Michael Heller

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