Should you Coach your Employee, or Fire Them?

Should you coach or fire an employee?

Employee retention is often at the forefront of a company’s game plan. Establishing trust with buyers, clients and candidates by keeping familiar faces and names around, help a company stand out over its competitors. So, when your employee makes an error, do you retain them, or let them go? Ask yourself these questions before making a hasty decision:

Was it an honest mistake?
People, even your amazing employees, will make mistakes during their career. Evaluate whether the individual’s mistake was an honest or an intentional one, and go from there. Was the employee misinformed? Could you have trained them better?

Coach. If it was an honest mistake, work on coaching your employee to improve their performance. Could they be further trained on a system or process? Could they take a customer service class to better understand your clientele? Find a solution to help them improve and make fewer mistakes. 

Are they becoming a problem employee? 

If an employee is constantly demoralizing, picking fights with their peers and complaining about their work, that can cause major problems for the office environment. Colleagues don’t have to be best friends and hang out on weekends, but a mutual respect and consideration for each other is a necessity. Loving their job all day every day isn’t mandatory either but keeping their complaints to a minimum should be. Plus, no one wants to work with a Debbie downer. 
  
Fire. If you’ve already tried offering this employee additional tasks to spruce up their mundane job or have had meetings to try and solve a misunderstanding between them and another colleague, it might be time to let the staff member go. An excessively negative employee is like poison to your company. 

Do they have an ability to learn? 
This is an important aspect in deciding if you can coach an employee to improve. In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg tells us “The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.” You can likely coach someone who WANTS to be great but you can’t coach someone who doesn’t. 

Coach. If your employee has the desire and ability to learn, coaching them could turn them into a huge asset for your company because they could become your next great manager. Coach them, train them, and help them strive to become a finer employee today and a leader tomorrow. 

Did they do something illegal?
If your employee did something illegal or against company policy, such as uploading a photo of customer personal information to social media sites, there isn’t any coaching you can provide. 

Fire. Actions that can’t be fixed or forgotten such as an employee failing to adhere to company policy or the law, could tarnish a company’s reputation so you will need to search for a new staff member.

[Related: Be Ambitious Throughout Your Career]

Letting an employee go is never easy. You want to build a company, and you do that by gaining your customers trust and loyalty. Your employees help facilitate that, so its always a good idea to see if coaching an employee is an option. 

When facing this issue in your organization, what other questions do you ask yourself? 

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