More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of bosses believe that an annual "cull" of underperforming staff would boost productivity among their workforce, a survey finds.
Talent management consultancy Hudson questioned 562 senior executives, 60 per cent of whom cited the main advantage of "deliberately releasing" underperforming or average performers as ensuring that strong team members did not carry weaker ones. Meanwhile, half said that such a move would allow staff to pursue a fresh challenge more suited to their abilities.
Seventeen per cent of bosses said that a company could dismiss up to 20 per cent of its workforce per year without damaging productivity or morale. However, 22 per cent were concerned about skills shortages and said they would rather retain even below-average performers.
"Sometimes, the best career direction for an employee is out of the company," said chief executive of Hudson UK, John Rose.
"Companies must take care, of course, that they do not inculcate a culture of fear, instead providing underperforming staff with time and opportunity to improve their performance."
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer last year controversially revealed that he dismisses one in every 15 company employees every year.