Crowdsourcing Solutions

12 Best Alternatives to Firing an Employee


Your company is underperforming due to this one employee, whom you want to layoff as soon as possible.

But think over it. Is it desirable?

Before firing a full-fledged employee, you need to deliberate over a few repercussions that it would follow. Along with legal litigation, you might have to recruit a new employee.

Recruiting a new employee and starting over the drill of probation can not only be time-consuming but also fiscally demanding.

Plus, the firing may cost you to pay the price of statute proceeding initiated by the employee, which can directly land you in a straitjacket.

alternatives to firing an employeeAlternatives to Firing an Employee:

Consider and evaluate your options before firing. Here are some of the alternatives to firing an employee.

1. Company expectations should be conveyed:

It is evident that you as a manager have let all the employees and staffs know the expectations of the job.

An employee’s poor performance might be linked to his lack of reasoning of the amount of dedication and work, required to achieve the goal.

Before you lay-off, give your feedback to the employee. Let the HR department know about the weak line. He should be personally apprised of his performance.

2. Seek the employee for suggestion:

Though you might not seek the help of the weak employee, but you need to ask just so, because that would help him to actively get involved in goal improvement.

Employee involvement in achieving short-term goals will infuse harmony in corporate relationships and will bring in security and solidarity.

3. Work factors might be affecting the poor performance:

Poor performance of an employee is quite evident, but there are other factors, such as the work-built. It is possible that there can be a potential fault in a contract that may be leading to poor play of the employee.

It is important to intently observe, revalue and then judge an employee holistically. Consider a real-life situation.

  • An employee of a reputed company named XYZ was under-performing. The employee was known for his exquisite set of skills and performance. But subsequently, his performance negatively affected the company’s corporate sector. The HR department intervened and closely noticed that the work was badly concocted. Work sculpting helped the performance to hike.

It is wise to deploy work to the employee according to skills and qualifications. Redesign his job to ensure a smooth performance.

4. Reduce bonuses, cut down salary hike, promotions:

cut down salary It doesn’t matter if only one employee is under-performing or the whole company is swaying to and fro over the edge.

In order to right the performance, you can stall the bonuses, promotions, hikes, etc. until matters come to normal. Rather than rebuking the rights, it should be done on a happy note. This kicks in solidarity and responsibility among the officials.

5. Set imaginary short-term goals:

For your special employee, you can carve out a singular path of improvement. You are a leader in true sense. A leader works with his team.

Assign your employee with short goals that he needs to fulfill, in order to go ahead towards larger-set goals. You can gradually increase the goal itinerary

6. Suggest for a voluntary layoff:

You can reshuffle and cross-pollinate the skills of employees through voluntary layoff into part-time or in-sourcing with another corporate group in your company.

7. Base the firing on performance, not color:

Lawsuits for employees ensure that they are not discriminated on the base of race, religion, color, and caste.

Thus, it is important to deliberate before firing. It is always better to try all the redeemable options before finally clicking “Fired!”

8. Few employees may be wrongly fit:

If you are seeing downhill in your company’s performance due to a handful of employee, try switching them with other employees. Consider this situation:

  • A customer care executive of an online-based retail company was rude to a customer and often landed up in an argument with them. So should you fire him? Absolutely not! That will damage more than correcting the situation. Assign him a desk job in the industry, where he could look over paper works.

By this way, you can evade the headache of replacing a new employee, and covering the exceeding fiscal budget.

9. Training and coaching:

Training and development It might sound expensive but it is worth investing. Coaching may help to amend and redeem the lost corporate shape.

You can add some behavioral pattern training in the drill. In this way, you will help your employee to regain his confidence, which might help him to focus more and give better results. Consider a situation:

  • You can instruct your employees to design a program to develop software. Now before he starts executing it, you need to coach and train him well. Brief him with the expectations that the program should meet. If you see that he has performed poor, ask him if he has met all the expectations that were discussed before. And if not, what should he need to do to complete the assignment.

This way, you are giving him a chance to meet his goals; you are providing him with an alternative. At the same time, you are appraising his level, and accordingly allotting him time and instructions to learn.

10. A warning that will put them in their shoes:

Instead of sparing a warning to the employee, it is important that you sit them down, and in a humble demeanor, let them be aware of their performance.

Many times due to lack of feedback, employees keep believing that their performance is up to the par of expectations. Give them time and ask them to improve. Make a formal memo of the things said and agreed.

11. Detail behavioral issues if any:

Rampant misconduct if seen in the company, bring the employee to question. Detail him with few behavioral issues that you object.

Ask him to amend his ways and warn him that it might cost his job, and score him behavior discontentment. Give him time. If you see no changes, fire the employee.

12. Keep it face to face:

face to face conversation employee If firing becomes an impending process stalling your company’s performance, then it is better do it on the face rather than informing the employee on phone or through email. You are firing an employee who dispensed service to your company.

Respect that. Let the person go with a happy note. Let go any bitter feelings against that person.

You are the boss, and you are leave-taking the person, whom you might not hire again. So always remember to give it with humility.

Try to save the firing, and despite that if you see the bad performance, make up your mind. Let go the person. But do it keeping in mind few requisites.

Fire the employee with a witness:

You have provided enough alternatives, time and instruction for him to dispense his duties to the worth. But he failed. You need to keep it right legally.

In order to stop him from suing, you need to keep a witness. Present your memo-agreement and revise the points that he has failed to keep, thus leading to his layoff.

Avoid reading out the whole list:

You might have a list of employee code of conduct violation against your employee. Avoid going into explicit detail. You might end up rounding in heated argument. Keep it brief.

No need of explanations behind firing:

You have trained and coached your employees. Instructed him where necessary. You have checked them with your feedback. Your memo stands proof of all the measures you have taken. So, spare the heartbreak and explanations of layoff.

Let him know that your decision is final:

This will avoid any second thoughts in the discussion. Avoid him to access any confidential company property. That will save your company from extortion.

Make a release draft to sign, and offer something complimentary:

Make a legal release draft from the employment attorney. Ask your leaving employee to sign it and offer something amiable in return for his service in your company.


Your employees need to know that you are by their side. You are there to guide them. Most of the time, managers need to have an amiable talk with employees regarding any adversity or frustration.

Your feedback will work wonders and criticisms will be accepted, and functioned for the company. If despite your fostering leadership, things do not work out well, then fire the person in a most honorable manner.