provider and caregiver in a meeting

Bonobos’ CEO, Andy Dunn, once compared the decision to fire an employee to the art of sculpting, where knowing what to cut is just as important as knowing what to keep. Dunn said, “Most companies know they have to be superb at the adding. What is less talked about is how important it is to become excellent at the chipping.” With caregiver turnover on the rise, many providers fear losing caregivers to the point that they hold on to caregivers who are underperforming. This habit of holding on to mediocre employees often costs providers more than it saves. Poor caregivers lose your company revenue and reputation, so it’s important to know when to let one go. Here are six signs that it may be time to cut ties with a caregiver:

1. Disinterested

Employees who are demonstrably bored with their work perform poorly. Disinterested caregivers often come in late, leave early, and cut corners on quality care. If your caregiver is frequently irritable or constantly daydreaming on the job, she or he is not engaged. That lack of engagement affects all aspects of performance and ultimately lowers the standard of care. When a caregiver visibly doesn’t want the job, it’s time to start looking for someone who does.

2. Can’t pull their own weight

After caregivers get past the training stage, their mistakes should be less and less frequent. Neither a supervisor nor the office staff should need to pick up the slack. When you have an employee who months in is still having the same problems or who needs to be micromanaged, they may be hurting your team. These caregivers require additional training and supervision, which comes at a cost not only to your budget but also to the other employees who are using their time and energy to pull someone else’s weight.

3. Not trying to improve

When you offer caregivers feedback, most of them will respond by correcting their behavior and working to improve. If you offer feedback and the caregiver does not correct the behavior or seems disinterested in her or his performance, it may be time to let them go. You need caregivers who believe in and want to support your company mission. If an employee doesn’t want to improve, it’s generally a sign that her or his work will only get worse.

4. Questionable behavior

Especially in a field that requires such intimate relationships between client and caregiver, any questionable behavior should send up a red flag. If a caregiver is caught lying, stealing, mistreating a client, etc. that should be an immediate cause for termination. Lack of morals will not only cause major problems with clients, but it can permanently damage your reputation in the community. Don’t hesitate to let these caregivers go.

5. Won’t get onboard with company procedures

It’s important to listen to new perspectives and alternative ideas for your company’s current policy. You should welcome these suggestions from your caregivers. Many providers will discover better and more effective business methods this way, but caregivers also need to support current policies until they change. When a caregiver begins destroying previous work or criticizing supervisors and training to others, it may be time to part ways.

6. Client complaints

Most caregivers will receive complaints at some time in their employment with you, but when complaints are frequent and/or serious, the caregiver is a liability rather than an asset. Though you should seek to resolve problems with your caregivers before letting them go, if clients are unhappy with their care, you will likely lose them. You should act quickly and take complaints seriously. If the caregiver isn’t willing to make changes in their behavior, it’s up to you to make changes in their employment.

The process of firing an employee can be difficult and uncomfortable, but it is necessary. Though it may be a hard process, letting go of caregivers who are hindering progress will liberate your company and allow you to move forward.

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