However, time and time again, I have seen the positive effects that result when the owner or manager finally faces up to the task. The rest of the staff eagerly steps in to fill the gap. Cooperation and productivity rise dramatically. Morale rises and the workplace becomes a happier place. And with proper planning, those fears of what might happen prove totally unfounded.
Termination Requires Planning
Firings are emotional events, and they should be treated with consideration and forethought. Like any major business activity they must be thoroughly planned. Planning should cover who will do the firing, where will it be done, when to actually do it, and who else needs to be informed before the firing. It is important to virtually script out what will be said to the employee to ensure against saying the wrong thing.
There are some guidelines to consider when conducting a termination:
• Be straightforward. Be very clear about the reasons for the termination, and be very clear that it is a termination.
• Be supportive. Encourage the employee to think of this as an opportunity to find something better suited to his or her skills.
• Allow the employee to speak, but don’t get drawn into an argument.
• Be clear about the next actions, such as turning in company property, clearing the desk, etc.
• Describe termination benefits such as severance pay, COBRA insurance, and outplacement services that are available.
• After the meeting, record exactly what happened and put these notes in the employee’s file.
Just remember that your approach to firing must meet two critical criteria:
• Protect the dignity and the rights of the employee being terminated.
• Protect your company from retaliatory action by a disgruntled former employee.
Fire an employee the right way, and the stress is temporary. Fire them the wrong way, and you could experience some serious long term consequences. Fail to fire them when it is necessary, and you will have even greater stress in your life.
Debra Thompson is president of TG & Associates. Her latest book, coauthored with Bill Greif, “No More Rotten Eggs–A Dozen Steps to Grade AA Talent Management”, has been published by McGraw-Hill and is available through bookstores everywhere or at www.NoMoreRottenEggs.com. Contact Debra or Bill at email@example.com for information on the assessment tools that they provide that can help you evaluate your staff so that you can build a sales driven team.