Imagine you’ve recruited an employee who, for all intents and purposes, seemed competent enough.

At least, that’s what you thought when you hired them.

But over the last few months, you’ve noticed that they are just not performing up to the standard you were expecting. Maybe they are missing deadlines, turning in incomplete reports, or just not getting it.

You need to do something. You don’t have time to babysit, and constant errors are affecting your team’s credibility. You see nothing else to do, but let them go.

But terminating an employee on a whim can be a risky move for your business. You need a practical and fair process to help reduce your liability. Moreover, it’s best to give employees plenty of time to improve and give them the tools needed to get there. After all, recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training a new employee can be very costly.

But when all else fails, termination may be necessary. In these cases, it’s best practice to follow a progressive discipline process – which generally includes a series of increasingly severe penalties for repeated offenses – if you want to conduct performance-based terminations the right way.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to terminate an employee for poor performance: