Even with the best hiring practices, many organisations still find themselves letting in employees who do not live up to expectations. These employees become toxic and can cause significant damage to your company. Not only will they lose you customers, but they’ll also affect the performance of other employees.
While firing these employees is the best thing you can do for your business, sometimes this option might not be feasible due to legal or bureaucratic reasons. So what can you do to get rid of these unwanted employees who could lead to the demise of your company?
Well, when the direct approach (firing quickly and decisively)is a no go, you can opt for the passive-aggressive approach; whereby you subtly make the unwanted employees feel so unwelcome that they voluntarily quit their jobs. This method is obviously not as fast as just firing the unwanted employees, but it does spare you all the undesired repercussions of straight-up firing people.
Tips for getting unwanted employees to quit
Here’re five sure-fire ways to get rid of unwanted employees in your company as suggested by Blue Collar People:
1. Death by overwork. Make sure the employee you are trying to get rid of gets a disproportionately higher workload than their teammates. So while their colleagues kick back and chart away on Facebook, the targeted employee feels like they are drowning in work. In addition to the endless amount of work, you can turn up the heat even further by giving tight or unreasonable deadlines. This technique is meant to increase the stress levels of the employee to unbearable levels. But even if they somehow manage to adjust to the high-octane work demands, they’ll still pay a hefty price in terms of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion which will make them want to leave.
2. Mismatched assignments. Give your targeted employee assignments that are either unchallenging and below their skill level or too difficult to the degree that failure is inevitable. While performing a few mundane tasks is part of every employee’s job, pilling on this kind of tasks can leave your unwanted employee bored, frustrated and growth-suffocated. For tasks that are very challenging, not offering any support and guidance to the employee will cause the employee to become resentful and lead to embarrassing public failure that will further push away the unwanted worker.
3. The cold shoulder. Isolating the employee you want to get rid of is another effective way of getting them out the door. Make it clear that their purpose of being there is strictly work and eliminate any other unnecessary conversations. Formalise all communication channels and make yourself inaccessible to the targeted employee. When you do happen to have a conversation with the employee, show minimum interest by checking out mentally; text during the interaction, answer calls, avoid eye contact and try to rush the conversation. Other co-workers might also notice this and stop engaging with the employee further adding to their frustration.
4. No reward and recognition. Although everyone makes mistakes, make sure to highlight the mistakes of the unwanted employee and criticise them publicly. Go a step further after the public criticism and send the employee an email recapping the tongue-lashing a few minutes after. Instead of praising positive contribution by the employee, take credit for the work and present it as your own. Give any accolades that result from their effort to other employees and downplay their achievement altogether. Not getting the recognition they deserve can drive an employee to the edge.
5. Stricter rules. You remember all those freedoms you had offered when recruiting the employee, take them all back if they’re not contractual obligations. If you allowed them flexibility and independence in work, revoke that. Start micromanaging the employee and introduce stricter rules on things such as dress code, work hours and time off. By taking away the things that attracted the employee to you in the first place, you give them solid reasons for them to want to leave.
While using passive-aggression to get rid of unwanted employees might take some time, it will eventually work and spare you the trouble of having to fire the employee directly.