We have all thought it at some point in our management career.

Once you have thought it, the mind quickly paints the rosy picture of how your business will glide more smoothly and be less stressful (think having a full body massage performed by an army of furry kittens whilst inadvertently coming up with a simple solution to world peace) once the problem individual isn’t around.

But how do we get to this happy place?

Well, in a traditional business you would probably email HR, tell them that Jonny has been stealing the paperclips again, and that he has already been warned. Jonny is then accompanied from the building (muttering about his 12 kids and sick mother) by some large security types. Your HR manager then drops a carefully crafted termination letter in Jonny’s lap on the sidewalk. Completing the look of the defeated, crumpled ex-employee.

Whether it be:

  • the sales person who can’t sell
  • the relationship manager who can drain all your energy after 30 seconds of the most mind-numbingly depressing conversation at the coffee machine
  • the solutions architect who can find a problem to every solution
  • or the party girl* who is often late in the morning and spends her office time wearing dark glasses and gazing at her computer screen hungover, while pretending to do some work

you will still find yourself asking the question…

How do I get rid of this guy*?

Allow me to tell you. It’s a simple process that always starts with a simple question:

Why do you want to terminate them?

In the case of Jonny, it’s a nice easy immediate termination ‘with cause’ or ‘gross misconduct’. Jonny stole from you and, even in some of the craziest countries in the world (to employ), criminal acts are normally a clear reason to part ways.

“But,” I hear you cry, “George in sales just is not very good, he’s been here years and is just lazy. How do I get rid of this guy?”

This is a common question from our clients (in fact a more common ‘request’ from our clients tends to be, fire this guy please). Again, Why?

In this case, George not being ‘very good’ (probably) means that you can’t just fire him. Sorry.

It’s going to be a drawn-out process of performance management, a series of warnings and meetings until George either:

A) picks up his game and becomes the salesperson superstar you want him to be


B) is fired for underperformance and joins Jonny on the sidewalk.

You may be lucky. It may be that George happens to work in Singapore and you can give him his contractual notice and show him to the door straight away.

You may be unfortunate and realise that George happens to work for you in France. Nothing short of a nuclear explosion destroying the whole country is going to dislodge George from his job in that case.

Now I can sense you screaming at me! “But Frank that works for me always hits his sales targets, he is always on time and I would trust him to care for my newborn child better than I would. How do I get rid of this guy*?”

Let me ask you this, Frank sounds like an amazing asset – why?

Oh, I see, Frank is amazing. But he is your TaB clear salesman for the whole of Europe and the company is pulling the product (shame, I liked TaB). In which case we will have to follow the redundancy process. It is going to cost you a little, but that’s the least you can do for amazing loyal Frank, right?

Of course, what you have here are some pretty ‘broad brushstrokes’ of advice.

In some countries, Germany for example, you may need to consult with the Works Council before anything can happen. In the UK, you’re free to restructure your positions as the needs of your business dictates, making redundancies an easy option if you act fairly!

If you want to know more about ‘getting rid of this guy’ in any country in the world, reach out to us at TopSource Worldwide for a chat on (+44) (0)203 1370217 or mail us to arrange your stress-busting consultation.

We are happy to onboard, payroll, manage and, if needed, terminate your global employees and international assignees.

*Denotes a nonspecific gender and can be identified as male, female, trans, gender-neutral and any other type of gender that the reader may wish to categorise them as.

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Published On: May 23rd, 2019Last Updated: March 10th, 2022

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About the Author: Paul Sleath

Paul is responsible for global marketing and communications including brand, advertising, digital marketing, and demand generation. Paul has a wealth of experience previously co-founding PEO Worldwide and was also the former managing director of CPM People/Stipenda.