How to fire an employee


How to fire that hire

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It’s that time of year. Over the last 18 years, with thousands of clients, I have found we are reluctant to “let an employee go” before the holidays. So most wait until after the first of the year. If this is the case for you, you may find this blog valuable. Here are the six things to consider about firing. 1. Be honest with your direct reports all the time. Your disappointment should have been clear through your evaluation and reprimands, this way they know where you stand all the time. If you’ve done your job well, their firing should never come as a surprise. When we openly communicate to an under-performing employee, they will see their firing coming. They will often find other work and quit. This isn’t a leaders cowardice, it minimizes the liability of a wrongful termination lawsuit. When you reprimand an employee always “write them up”. This exercise minimizes confusion and disagreement later. 2. Don’t unnecessarily hurt their career going forward. If possible give them notice that you intend to sever their employment. This helps them find work before the last day of their employment. If they have a good heart, but still feel their ability or competence for their job is a mismatch, they will often appreciate the “soft landing”.  This often can’t be the case because they have or are doing something wrong and damaging to other employees or the company. In this instance you have no choice, but to just let them “go” today. If they’re not appreciative of the notice, let them go right then and there. 3. The process of terminating an employee, is never a personal thing for you. It is a business decision. We applaud great employees with passion and exuberance publicly  We terminate someone from their job without emotion, and privately. It’s common for leaders to wait to fire until they are angry. This makes the termination personal. 4. The termination should take no longer than 15 min., unless they embrace the idea of being “set free”. In this instance you get to take advantage of the best interview you will ever have. That’s the exit interview, where you get complete honesty. 5. When you get to a point, of letting someone go, it’s always best to have a replacement ready to go. This is for the sake of the team. When you announce someone’s departure, the team is often confused and concerned. When we introduce the replacement the next morning it comforts them that this was not a rash act, but an on purpose business decision. 6. After the fired employee has departed, we never explain why, and we never put them down. That departing employee has friends in the company. We simply say,”they are no longer here, and we wish them well.”  As a leader, I don’t care if you are liked. I care desperately that you are respected, and found to be above reproach.

Let me know what you think about this blog. I hope it helps



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