Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of firing toxic people or removing people from their jobs. Yes, I agree it is unpleasant, but in reality, when a toxic employee quits or is fired, it’s a good thing for everyone involved. But we shouldn’t neglect the fact that many leaders still mistreat their employees, on the one hand, resulting in 55% less engagement from their side.

As a businessman, I am a huge supporter of a company that that takes care of its employees and the creation of a productive workplace, pays them well, and treats them well, but at the same time, you do not owe an employee their job. If an employee is toxic or hates their job or has a very bad attitude they have to go.

One of the hardest leadership decisions is to fire an employee, especially if he is a long-term employee. He is well-liked by customers, so he always expects special treatment. If he does not receive it, he becomes enraged, never accepts responsibility for his bad actions/mistakes, or tries to manipulate other employees by lying to get what he wants.

If you have a staff member who exhibits some of these attitudes or an employee who makes you feel like you’re being held hostage, what should you do? The best solution is to fire the toxic employee, but this must be done correctly to ensure your company culture is not harmed.

Sub-topics in this article:

  •   Identifying toxic behavior
  •   How to flawlessly fire a toxic employee

Fire a Toxic Employee
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Identifying toxic behavior

Humans are much better at expressing themselves through their actions than through words. It differs, however, from person to person. While understanding human character does not require a degree, you will need some assistance to analyze your employees’ toxic habits. Typical characteristics to watch out for include:

  •   Unwillingness to take responsibility for mistakes:

Toxic employees may find it hard to own up to their mistakes and look for different ways to blame people for their mistakes.

  •   Gossiping:

Office gossip wastes time, reduces productivity and spreads rumors. A toxic employee may engage in this behavior, forming groups and cliques that can foster a “us versus them” mentality at work.

  •   Clockwatchers:

Toxic employees may spend time watching YouTube videos, surfing the net, or finding ways to occupy their time with unproductive things during working hours. With the help of Kickidler employee monitoring software, you can keep track of your staff.

  •   Aggressiveness

Aggressiveness can be both physical and verbal. Toxic employees may verbally bully a coworker by shouting at the coworker or insulting the colleague.

  •   Absenteeism

Sometimes even when you delicately plan and organize projects some of the employees manage to miss important deadlines and may frequently miss work for no apparent reason. This absence may increase the workload of other employees. 


How to flawlessly fire a toxic employee

As previously stated, it is sometimes necessary to fire a toxic employee, but how you do it is critical. You can take a more tactical approach instead of hitting the nail on the head. The following are some pointers for firing a toxic employee flawlessly:


1. Be kind, but also direct

No matter how bad the situation is between you and your employee, keep in mind that he is a human being as well, and try to understand his feelings. Also, there is no need to mince words; just be direct and to the point.

You can say something like “Joe, today’s conversation is going to be difficult; after careful consideration, we have decided to let you go. Today is your last day working for us. Thank you for your efforts here, and I’d like to leave on good terms.”


2. Keep track of all misconducts and provide frequent performance-based feedback.

This is a viable strategy; however, ensure that you document all violations committed by the toxic employee. It can be useful during the firing process. Nobody deserves a sudden shift in their employment situation. As a result, it is critical to provide regular feedback on their performance.


3. Explain why the decision was made thoroughly, but do not go overboard.

Inform your employee of the reasons for his dismissal. In my case, I had to let go of a toxic employee. I explained why I had to fire him. something along the lines of:

  •   You were mean to Steve in a team meeting
  •   You always come late to work and on Fridays, you leave before closing time 
  •   You told Cynthia she is ugly
  •   You sabotaged Jane’s work

You do not need to continue talking or explaining to your employee once you have informed him of your decision to fire him.


4. Be prepared and don’t get distracted

Communicating with a toxic person can be challenging, so prepare for how the conversation will unfold and be ready for emotional questions and answers. Prepare all your documents and get knowledgeable about the procedure.

If the employee gets emotional, try your best to be understanding. However, if the employee becomes agitated and combative, end the conversation.


5. Be mindful of mental health

According to the World Health Organization, mental health problems now account for one out of every five years of disability. A firing process may have an impact on everyone (the boss, the toxic employee, and coworkers), so make sure to give everyone time to communicate after firing.


6. Communicate with your team appropriately

It is critical to inform your other employees about the employee’s dismissal rather than letting them discover it for themselves. An example you can simply use “Joe’s last day of working with us was yesterday. We appreciate the work he did for us and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. We are currently looking for a replacement; in the meantime, Sam and Julie will cover his previous responsibilities.” The report shows that 86% of employees and executives are reported to have lack of collaboration for workplace failures.


The wrap-up

Being a businessman or an HR manager is challenging since you need to comply with many laws and regulations. It is of utmost importance to pay attention to who these toxic employees are and find out what are their reasons for such behavior. Note: It is illegal to fire an employee based on their race, color, ethnicity, religion, or other characteristics, for example firing an employee because she is black. It is seen as discrimination and may have legal repercussions. As an employer, you should base your decisions on job-related factors only.

Finally, firing an employee is never simple, but it is essentially unavoidable when the employee is toxic. However, if you follow the advice given, everything will run more smoothly. If you want to improve discipline and productivity in your team, you should use time tracking or employee monitoring software.