How to fire an employee who has a bad attitude?

how to fire an employee with a bad attitude

Employees with bad attitudes are not frequent, but many firms still have such employees. The employee’s performance might be ideal, but their work attitude and behavior cause all the problems.

And such employees are not ideal for any workplace environment. So as an employer, it would be best if you took action against employees with such an attitude. It would be a step towards a better working environment and performance for all employees.

What is Bad Attitude in Employees?

The bad attitude of an employee is a very sweeping statement with no exact answer to it. Moreover, we all have different definitions of a bad attitude for people. So it is difficult to give a precise definition or characterization of an employee with an attitude problem.

But if we speak in general, it could refer to the negative behavior towards the employer or fellows. Such behavior may be only emotionally harming or even physically or sexually harmful to someone.

Such hostility and bad attitude are not common in employees, but it isn’t absent entirely either. You may not know about such an attitude by yourself and receive the report from a fellow employee.

Either way, it would make that employee a harmful person for the work environment and fellow employees. It would lead to poor quality work from that employee and employees near them too.

How can you detect bad attitude in employees?

It is not exactly easy to detect bad attitudes or behavioral issues in your employees. If you are constantly in contact with your employees, it might be easier to spot such a worker. But usually, it is hard to tell directly if an employee has an attitude issue.

And since you do not precisely know what issues an employee might bring, it is hard to tell if they are negative. But the best way to detect such problems is through feedback from fellow employees.

As a responsible employer, you must always encourage your employees to share their feedback about the working environment. In addition, you must ensure that your employees can share both positive and negative details with you.

If you have such a relationship, then you can detect such a bad attitude in an employee. As a result, you would also avoid unexpected resignations from employees who get severely affected by the offender’s behavior.

Why does the bad attitude of an employee harm the ifrm?

The bad attitude of an employee is most harmful to the firm in multiple ways. An emotionally damaging employee might lead to a hostile and suffocating work environment for co-workers. An employee with no sense of punctuality will hinder work progress.

There are too many individual examples to not for such bad behavior. But we have compiled a few common issues that such employees bring with them to the firm. A thing to note here is that this behavior might not be evident at the beginning.

It may as well develop later on after some time. But regardless of the time, it does bring about a lot of issues with it. It is why you must be careful and pay close attention to the feedback you receive.

You may not be able to detect such problems quickly, but a co-worker can. And by listening to their plea, you can help create a better working environment for all the workers.

  • Poor Work Environment– The work environment for employees is an essential determiner of their performance. If an employee works in a hostile and disruptive work environment, they will not work to their full potential. 

Additionally, the employees may start having low morale at work. It would lead to poorer quality work from the employees. And it would be a result of one lousy employee with behavioral issues.

  • Inefficiency in Working– Apart from disrupting other people’s working pace, an employee with a bad attitude will also have poorer performance. Their energy would get wasted more on spreading negativity or making excuses than on work. 

So their working pace and their performance will drop. It might not be so from the very start, but later developed attitude issues can lead to poorer performance by that employee. 

  • Slower Pace of Working– With a bad working environment, a slower working pace will follow. The employees will lose their working morale and finish the project much later than they can. 

It does not rid them of their capabilities, but it will surely make their pace slower. It could follow with even severe consequences, but you will notice the slower pace of work first.

  • Layoffs of Other Employees– If you have an employee with a bad attitude, they may be harmful to other employees too. Whether it is emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, it will affect your other employees negatively. 

And then, the employees will start to feel unsafe and vulnerable in the working environment. If you don’t deal with such an employee, it could lead to their co-workers leaving.

  • Worse Customer Service– If your employee has the nerve to talk rashly to you or their colleagues, they will do the same with customers too. And for firms, customer service and interaction are the bridge to success. 

So it would help if you took action against an employee who has a bad attitude towards you or customers. Customers might suffer from the service in your firm otherwise and prefer not to come back.

Can you fire an employee with a bad attitude?

Many people feel like a bad attitude is not reason enough to fire or take strict action against an employee. But it is more than possible, and many firms practice it. You see, an employee with a bad attitude is harmful to the organization.

If you receive reports of unacceptable behavior of an employee at your firm, it is your responsibility to take action. Of course, the level of issues for every firm and employee may differ.

But you must act on such a report, or even if you notice such negativity personally. We have already seen what happens if such an employee continues to work in your firm, and it is undoubtedly not beneficial.

So if you have tried everything else in your power to correct the employee’s behavior, you can resort to firing them. It would be a step for your firm and other employees working in it, so it is justified.

Steps to fire an employee with a bad Attitude

As you would guess, firing a problematic employee is the last step for an employer. Multiple steps come before that one to give the employee a chance to reflect and improve their behavior.

So here are a few steps you can follow in dealing with an employee who has a bad attitude and is disruptive:

Communicate and share their shortcoming with them

The first and essential step to deal with a negative employee is to communicate about them. Then, you can personally meet up with them or tell your HR to schedule a meeting with the employee.

Further, you can tell the employee how their adverse behavior is intolerable for the firm. Finally, you can mention what their issues are and how they are causing harm to others. At this point, if an employee is willing to improve, they will.

Issue warnings 

If they still do not heed the points you mentioned when you discussed the issue, you can issue an official warning against them. It is a later step for employees who do not have any thought of improving their behavior.

You can give them three chances or warnings, after which you will take your final action. Then, if your employee has any chance of understanding their problems, they will immediately alter their behavior.

Fire them

If your employee still pays no heed to your talk or warning, you would have no choice but to remove them from the firm. You can compile the list of their behavior and the damage caused by them in a report.

You can mention how their behavior caused harm to the firm and then officially fire them. Although it rarely comes to this stage, it is better to let the employee go from the firm if it does.


Lousy attitude in employees isn’t necessarily the result of one thing, which could be due to anything. And while giving the employee chances to improve is ideal, you have to stop such behavior permanently beyond some limits.

Firing such an employee may become essential for you, even though it is an extreme step. But if you think about the damage to employees and the firm, it is a necessary step. By reading our guide, you can understand the procedure to fire such problematic employees.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can you fire an employee based on their poor behavior?

Yes, an employee’s constant poor attitude will hinder their and their fellow’s work performance. So they are liable for the damage done to other employees and the firm. Hence you can fire them on such grounds.

  • Is it better to warn an employee of bad behavior than to fire them?

Yes, it would be best if you always took the initiative to discuss such behavioral issues with the employee. Your first step should always be to talk about the problems and warn them if they do not improve.

  • Is an employee with a bad attitude harmful to the organization?

Of course, such an employee can lead to a hostile work environment and hinder work progress. Moreover, the bad attitude will affect anyone and everyone near them, bringing loss.

How to fire an employee who has a bad attitude?

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