Plain and simple, there is no good time to let an employee go.

However, sometimes it’s the only course of action when your once-promising talent threatens to poison your business or cause unnecessary problems for the rest of your team.

While firing an employee may indeed be awkward or uncomfortable, there are many instances where it’s the right thing to do.

If you’re currently struggling with an employee or feel that a new hire may be more trouble than they’re worth, considering the following three signs that it’s time to cut them loose.

They Can’t Be Trusted

Trust and honesty are at the foundation of any business. If you can’t trust your workers to make decisions or follow your directions, chances are they shouldn’t be part of your team.

In addition, seemingly minor trust issues such as workers showing up late or taking credit for a small aspect of a project can quickly snowball into something much larger. Some people will try to take full advantage of your trust if they think you’re a pushover: from stealing money to committing fraud on the company dime, dealing with a worker you can’t trust can be a major nightmare.

For example, if you suspect one of your workers is taking part in illegal activity, you might want to consider a private investigator or professional surveillance to swiftly deal with the issue.

What can a private investigator do on your behalf? For starters, they can track the activity of your problem employee and help you determine whether or not they’ve actually done anything illegal. Although such measures may be extreme, illegal activities from employees happens more often than you think.

They Have a Toxic Attitude

Let’s be honest: some people are not good fits for your team. Unfortunately, you may not be able to detect the red flags in your new hires’ personalities until it’s far too late.

What constitutes a “toxic” attitude? For starters, consider people who…

  • Purposely create drama or dissension among your team
  • Consistently undermine the work of others while putting themselves on a pedestal
  • Constantly justify their own wrongdoings or bad behavior

Getting rid of a poor worker doesn’t always have to be directly related to their performance: a poisonous personality can potentially spoil your entire workforce if it’s not dealt with swiftly.

They’re Unwilling to Change

Some people do indeed deserve second chances. Perhaps you have a hire that’s been showing up late but has a seemingly legitimate excuse such dealing with family problems or frequent doctor’s appointments. However, when their excuses and lack of productivity begin to impact your business as a whole, it’s time to have a serious talk with your problem employee.

Unfortunately, some people are stubborn and ultimately won’t change their ways unless backed into a corner. Even so, you may run into a situation where the threat of termination isn’t enough to turn someone’s behavior around. In this case, you know that you’ve probably made the right decision by wanting to cut them loose.

Don’t dwell on the decision to get rid of someone who’s crossed the line. Sometimes you have to cut your problem employees loose for the greater good of your team. Rather than stress out about such decisions, use them to influence hire decisions in the future so you know exactly what you need to look out for next time.