How do you fire an employee? Is there a right way to terminate a worker’s employment? While this can be one of the most difficult tasks that you will ever undertake as a manager or supervisor, it is nevertheless a crucial part of your job. What do the experts in the field have to say about avoiding the drama when it comes time to separate someone from the company?
Firing Should be the Culmination of a Natural Progression
Have you ever heard of someone whose termination came totally out of left field? The worker never saw it coming and may have actually thought she was doing a good job. The problem here is the unwillingness (or inability) of a supervisor to adequately gauge, document and share poor job performance with the worker before it became a danger to continued employment. When the termination finally comes, it is a huge surprise.
Quoting Coy Renick from the Renick Group, Business Insider explains that a worker needs to be given honest performance evaluations that highlight needed areas of improvement with a workable plan of attaining the goals. When the employee continues to fall short after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed, the termination is not a surprise but an expected event. This prevents the surprise that leads to dramatic outbursts.
Documentation is a Key Element for a Drama-free Employment Termination
As a supervisor and coworker, you spend the majority of your day in the company of the employee whose future does not include a working relationship with this company. If the worker is lazy, a poor performer or simply manages to rub everyone the wrong way, you are probably feeling a bit prejudiced against him. This is a dangerous footing when you are finally arriving at the decision to fire the employee.
“Put it in writing,” counsels the Illinois Bar Journal. This allows you to filter out your personal misgivings about the worker and lets you stick to the verifiable data. If you cannot put together a comprehensive termination package on paper, there is a good chance that you either failed in your duty as a coach and supervisor or have allowed personal dislikes to cloud your perception of the worker’s actual job performance.
Give Some Thought to the Setting, Location and Time of Day
When you are already uncomfortable with the idea of firing the worker, doing so in plain view of the entire sales floor can make matters even worse. If the worker tends to be a high-strung individual who tends to get loud when agitated, you have all the makings of a dramatic performance.
Careful attention to the setting for the meeting can help counteract the opportunity for spectacular outbursts, says the CPA Journal. A neutral location may be better than your office or the huge conference room with the big glass windows. Time the meeting to take place before everyone arrives for work or after everyone has left for lunch or a meeting.
While these tips help you to fire an employee and prevent the drama that goes hand in hand with the task, consider also that these suggestions help you defend your decision should the worker challenge you in a legal action.