Top Reasons for Being Fired from Your Job by an Employer

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 19, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are several reasons why your employer or the HR department might ask you to leave the company. After creating a resume, applying for jobs, and getting interviews, it can be stressful to repeat the entire process again if you got fired. By understanding some of these reasons that can lead to getting fired, you can develop a better understanding of what you can do to prevent it from happening to you. In this article, we discuss common reasons for being fired and also share ways to impress your manager and perform well.

Related: 13 Popular Types of Work Quality Examples

Top reasons for being fired in the workplace

Here are some of the most common reasons for being fired:

Poor work performance

Your work performance includes your work quality, productivity, and overall contribution to the company. Companies want their employees to perform their responsibilities well and make contributions that help them grow and increase their revenue. When you're struggling to meet benchmarks or goals set by your employer, it can cause you to receive a warning or get fired. There are many scenarios and examples of what your employer might consider poor work performance and grounds for getting fired. For example, if you're consistently skipping tasks, employers might see that as a lack of commitment.

To avoid this, it's beneficial to keep a record of your achievements and the activities you've performed. This can help you identify any objective or benchmark you're missing and enable you to discuss potential solutions with your supervisor. Discussing your objectives or any obstacle found in the workplace might demonstrate your commitment to your manager. Employees who are proactive and like to find solutions may be more productive and valuable to the company.

Related: 10 Good Employee Qualities and Their Importance to You

Requiring too much time off

Requiring time off for other commitments, relaxation, and vacations is great for work-life balance. Time off allows you to enjoy the hobbies you love, explore the world, and share moments with your family and friends. It also allows you to relax to prevent fatigue. If you're always going on vacation or requesting time off, it can be a sign of lack of commitment to the company and your role. It also typically means you aren't using enough hours to complete your responsibilities and do your job.

Avoiding frequent absence can help you increase the overall productivity of your team. Each team member has a specific set of tasks that they're responsible for completing. If you perform your responsibilities and help your colleagues with pending activities, you can contribute to achieving better team performance. This can also allow you to deliver results or finish your projects earlier and improve the relationships with your team members. If they know that you're supporting many activities, they might contact you whenever they need help or consider you a leader.

Violating internal policies

Most companies have strict policies that dictate employee conduct in and around the office. This includes interactions with other employees, business conduct with external vendors or stakeholders, how they behave outside of company hours, and performance conduct at business-related events. It's important for employees to follow company policies to help ensure they show professionalism and represent the company in a positive way. Company policies vary from each business and it's always a good idea to learn about the company's policies when you work there.

If you contravene one of the company's policies, it may result in repercussions, such as a warning or a disciplinary action. Depending on the severity of the infraction, it can also result in the loss of your job. To avoid this, you can follow the company's internal policies, including its code of conduct, and talk with any colleague that might be violating these rules in the workplace.

Damaging company property

Company property is expensive and crucial for the operations and success of the business. Damaged property not only potentially results in a monetary loss in equipment for the company to replace it, but also represents a loss of revenue and profit if the equipment is crucial to operations. Company property includes machinery, desks, computers, printers, vehicles, signs, and equipment that belongs to the company, whether it's onsite or offsite.

Damaging company property may show poor character, a lack of respect for the business, and poor judgement in your actions. This can result in an immediate suspension or lay off whether the damages are intentional or accidental. To avoid this situation, it's beneficial to use the equipment according to the training you've received and the best practices in place. It's also a good idea to ask your supervisor for more information on what you can do if certain equipment isn't working properly.


Stealing is illegal regardless of whether you're taking objects or property from work or somewhere else. If your manager catches you stealing any company property from the office or the property of your colleagues, they can immediately fire you for your actions. This includes petty theft, stealing money, and taking the company's intellectual property and documents.

Ways to impress your manager and perform well

Here are some ways you can impress your manager and improve your performance:

Be punctual

One of the easiest ways to make a positive impression on your manager is to always be punctual. This means showing up on time or earlier to meetings, work, and events. Punctuality shows good time management skills, respect for your manager's time and your own time, and good time organizational skills.

Being punctual or arriving early also gives you enough time to prepare for meetings or your workday. It also lets your manager know that you're eager to work or participate in work-related projects. Even showing up five minutes early can give you time to prepare and plan your day. It can help you improve your productivity and organization to make your life easier and show your manager your level of responsibility.

Related: Top 11 Essential Skills Employers Look For

Help your colleagues

Many tasks and projects in the workplace require collaboration. You might have skills and experiences that your colleagues might not and vice versa. By helping your colleagues and lending your expertise and skills, you can help them perform their responsibilities better. If you're working on a project with them, it also helps ensure the project runs smoothly and more successfully.

Helping your colleagues also shows that you're a team player and willing to take on extra responsibilities to support the overall success of the company. Your manager might notice all the minor tasks and activities you perform to help the company improve its operations and support your team members.

Ask for help when you need it

Asking for help means you're eager to learn more about the company. You might want help to learn new software or tools, solve a problem that you aren't familiar with, or interact with a stakeholder or external partner you don't know. It's beneficial to ask your manager and colleagues for help, as it shows that you're eager to learn new skills and want to improve yourself so you can perform better at the job.

Be creative

Problem-solving is a common requirement for any role. When you're working to overcome a challenge, thinking creatively can often help you discover new ways to solve problems. These innovative solutions can help you improve efficiency, eliminate errors, improve quality, and reduce costs. When you have new ideas, don't hesitate to share them with your manager and teammates. Even if it's a small idea or suggestion, sharing ideas shows you care about your work and want to find ways to improve the quality of operations within your team.

Consistently improve your work performance

The quality of work you produce and your results show a lot about your personality and willingness in the workplace. Regardless of what your responsibilities are, it's important to work with passion and professionalism. This includes making it more efficient to perform your responsibilities, consistently achieving your goals, reaching benchmarks, and delivering good project results. Good performance typically leads to positive annual or quarterly reviews and high praises from your manager.

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