UK Managers Favor Regular "Purges"

January 19, 2006 ( - More than three quarters (77%) of UK bosses think their companies would benefit from a fixed annual quota of staff dismissals.

Believe it or not, one in six thought a 20% target was viable – without damaging productivity and morale – while nearly half (43%) thought firing up to 5% of the staff each year would be “healthy” – both in terms of productivity and financial performance. One in four (24%) think deliberately dismissing underperforming staff increases morale among the rest of the team

However, recruiter consultancy Hudson UK said that 75% of the 562 C-suite managers surveyed would not bring in such a system – because they did not want to introduce “a climate of fear”.

A Different Take

On the positive side, ensuring strong team members are not carrying weaker ones was cited as the main advantage (60%) of deliberately releasing average or below-average performers in Hudson’s study. Also cited were:

  • allowing underperforming staff to pursue a fresh challenge more suited to their abilities (50%) * , and
  • increasing productivity (33%)

More than one in five (22%) said they would rather retain average or below average workers because they fear they would struggle to find better replacements. Nor is training an obvious solution – while nearly half (49%) agree that training is vital in tackling poor staff performance, a nearly identical 45% said training was just a temporary “sticking plaster” over the problem.

The report, which noted that 4% of senior managers currently have a policy of annual staff dismissals in place, also noted that 46% of respondents think deliberately dismissing underperforming staff damages the company’s reputation.

You can find more about the survey HERE

* Editor’s Note: you have to love these creative HR euphemisms