What other consequences can I use besides firing someone?

Challenge: What other consequences can I use besides firing someone?

Coach Response: Getting fired is the ultimate consequence and, in some cases, it’s the right one. Initially, there are other consequences you can put into place.


  • For shift workers, it can be the less ideal shifts or less shifts in general.
  • When it’s the first time, you can say “if this continues, the next time we will actually document it and it will become part of a formal progressive disciplinary process which could lead to termination”.
  • Demote them or change their role.
  • Take them off whatever they are doing.
  • Discuss with them that their “brand” as a mentor or leader is being tarnished.

When you hire people for a really finite responsibility, you don’t have a lot of wiggle room. It’s either hours, pay or role.

Sometimes you just need to address it. Tell them, “you either start delivering on my expectations or you aren’t going to work here anymore”. I understand empathy, but you have to tell people what you expect of them and what you will deliver in exchange (i.e., pay, benefits). If that’s not happening, why do you have them? They are supposed to be making this easier for you. Don’t get stuck in trying to find the consequence that will make them behave differently.

They will continue to show up as themselves no matter what.

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