There are generally two types of concerns leading to termination: Performance and policy violations. Sometimes the concern is a judgement call in the eyes of the beholder. So, what are the causes, signs and types of termination, and for what?
A survey from “Career Builder” defines some surprising causes of termination:
- 22% are fired for calling-ins to your boss as “unavailable for work” with a fake excuse
- 24% are fired for using the Internet for a non-work-related activity
- 41% are fired for being consistently late
- 17% are fired for posting something on social media that’s unauthorized or negative
One question to ask: Are these reasons a result of working remotely, but the policies are a legacy from an office environment? Have the policies changed with working remotely?
So, what are other common reasons for employees being terminated? Here are some:
- Fibbing on your resume. The implications to fabricating experiences or past results can lead to termination and even a lawsuit. It’s not worth it.
- Drug or Alcohol Possession at Work. Most policies state that under the influence at work shall be cause for termination or prosecution by the authorities
- Sub-standard performance. Check in with your boss periodically so you’re not surprised. However, make sure the results expected are not impossible.
- Stealing or destroying company property. This can range from a ream of paper to pulling the fire alarm as a prank. Be careful about “borrowing” company equipment.
- Taking too much time off. There’s usually a policy about sick days and absences. Intermittent time off is a problem when others are dependent upon you.
- This can be a grey area unless confrontational. Refusal to follow instructions, obstructing the work of others, or counter-communications are examples.
- Using a company computer for personal use. Have both a personal and company computer. Never watch a movie, send emails or play a game on company equipment.
- Violating Company Policy.Know what the policies are. If a question arises, ask your supervisor. Sticky issues: Office dating, social media comments, company information.
What are some of the signs that there’s a problem?
- Your role or responsibilities shrink Instead of expanding
- New assignments, tasks or opportunities pass you by
- Feedback is negative and performance appraisals are less than satisfactory
- You are given tasks that are beyond your capability or training.
Termination “for cause” is much more problematic than a termination due to a reorganization, merger or even performance. “For cause” means a major policy was breached like sexual harassment, stealing, insubordination or drug use at work. A termination for performance can be toned-down during an interview by relegating the issue to the company’s lack of training, unreasonable supervisor or unusual circumstances.
Summary: Very seldom is termination a surprise. The indicators and steps toward termination are visible. Know company policies and check out performance periodically.
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