Five Reasons to Say, ‘You’re Fired’


“You’re fired.” Having to actually say the words to an employee you have spent time recruiting and training is never easy.

However, sometimes it no longer makes sense to keep a team member on board if he or she isn’t a good fit for your business. From theft to laziness, here’s what five business owners said would push them to fire an employee.

No. 1: Underperforming

Hair Parra, vice president of integration at Wing Zone, said he would give someone a pink slip for failing to give results in the workplace.

“I believe people fire themselves, that is my philosophy,” he said. “We don’t fire them. But I would get rid of someone who didn’t perform or give results.”

No. 2: Stealing

Once an employee develops sticky fingers, Michael Pino, senior vice president of Ziebart, said that would be his cue to cut them loose.

“At that point and time, your integrity is gone,” Pino said. “Also, mismanagement of the store would prompt me to fire someone. Why would I want you working for me if you can’t manage the store?”

No. 3: Disrespectfulness

For Jonathan Spiel, CEO of the Tea Lounge, all hires need to “play well with others.” Spiel said he often looks for people with ‘big heads’ when hiring, a term he uses to describe a person who takes their own initiative without being told to do so.

“It would take a few warnings of someone really not doing their job, or being late before I’d fire them. I give people a chance, so it would take a lot to get fired,” Spiel said. “I think a lack of respect and careless work would do it. I need someone who works well with others, especially in a café business.  You can ‘t be careless or leave your work, because it gets left to someone else.”

No. 4: Poor customer service

Edward Fitzpatrick, vice president of retail operations for Fannie May Fine Chocolates, said an employee with bad customer service wouldn’t last long in his business.

“It’s extremely important to have good customer service, especially in the chocolate business,” he said. “We are not a necessity. It’s a luxury. Also theft, because you can’t afford to have people in the business who are stealing.”

No. 5: Insubordination

Rob Tremelling, director of Franchise Development at Batteries Plus, said he would fire a worker for lack of adherence to company policy.

“Insubordination or lack of adherence to company policy,” he said. “Or maybe just having the wrong person in the wrong position.”