Firing an employee: What you do vs how you do it - 2

Live Ghana Tv Blog

Blog / Live Ghana Tv Blog 106 Views

We continue from last week's discussion on above topic and share some great points from wiki. Keep in mind that dismissing an employee is not necessarily a bad thing for the employee, in the long run. It's distressing, of course, and it can create temporary hardships. On the other hand, if the person isn't suited for the job, it's better to free them to do a job that they can do well.

Sometimes dragging along in a job that's a bad fit is more stress to that person than you can realize. Document the course of events to prove you had at least one conversation with this person and have given them at least one opportunity to correct the problem before firing. This is the absolute minimum you are required to do, but most employers go by a "three strikes" rule unless the offense is serious in nature.

Be clear about all duties and responsibilities when an employee is hired. Provide a complete job description that employee signs off on to show they understood the work they are taking on. The human resources department (if your company has one) is always a good resource. You may even want (or need) to have an HR staff member in the room during the termination.

How you handle this termination will define how other employees think of you and their job. If you are unfair or arbitrary, they will think they could be next. If you call security and make the discharged employee surrender keys and march out immediately (if there is no legitimate threat to the business) they will think you're a jerk. Remember other employees may have been friendly with this person. Ask yourself whether the problem lies entirely with the employee, or whether your management skills—or other workplace factors—have something to do with your employee’s poor performance.

If you sense there might be trouble, fire an employee with another manager present in a closed environment (an office, or conference room). Doing so will provide you a witness should things go south. It may be best to do it on a Friday, so the commotion does not cause disruption during the week. On the flip side, doing it mid-week allows the remaining employees to come to you with any concerns instead of stewing over them on the weekend

Let us discuss some points to consider before termination according to wiki:

Discuss with your employees any behavior that could be grounds for immediate termination. Don't wait until behavior is already occurring. Be sure that all employees understand the rules and productivity expectations up front. These might include such things as failing to disclose arrest records, lying about past employment, failing a drug test, insubordination, excessive absence—and what constitutes “excessive”—and other issues that affect job performance.

Give regular performance appraisals. Evaluate employee work at least once a year and document deficiencies in performance versus your expectations or the actual job requirements. When an employee comes up short, discuss ways to improve and give the employee clear steps and goals to help them improve.

Be sure of your standing. Unless you are the company owner, know your employer's rules about firing someone. There may be specific steps you are required to take to fire someone -- even if the employee is not doing their job. Never undermine your employer and risk your own position by taking such actions without informing your own supervisor.

Act quickly when problems are noticed. Be sure to communicate performance problems as soon as you are aware of them, and coach your employee on how to improve.

Sit down with your employee and discuss with them the problem. Ask them what they think is causing their performance to be substandard, and offer suggestions for their improvement. Keep a written record of these conversations. Either have them sign a form that covers what was discussed, or send them a formal email, or both. If sending an email, ask your employee to reply to it when they’ve read it, both to acknowledge receipt and to give them an opportunity to respond in writing.

Consider personal factors. While companies have to keep an eye on their productivity, workplace environment and bottom line, it's wise to ask about and consider any extraneous circumstances in your employee's life that may temporarily be effecting their performance. Health problems, death/illness in the family, pregnancy, divorce or other relationship trauma, moving stress, and financial troubles are all part of life and can understandably cause otherwise valuable employees to lose focus. However these drops in productivity can be temporary, and firing someone in the midst of outside difficulties can be cruel and potentially bring bad publicity to your organization. If possible, consider giving the employee some consideration and an opportunity to resolve their difficulties so their performance can improve.

Focus on the problem. When you counsel an employee, focus on the facts, without editorial comment. "You have failed to meet deadlines on 11 out of the past 16 assignments" is appropriate. "You're slacking off" is inappropriate.

Keep records. Should the need arise, you want to have a paper trail that shows you were neither capricious nor arbitrary in your decision to fire. Retain a record of all disciplinary actions. Have the employee sign some sort of document outlining the conversation to cover yourself and the company. It should specifically state that the employee is not admitting fault, but has been told that job performance is not satisfactory.

Outline specific improvements or changes required in order for them to keep their job, and give them clear deadlines when these improvements or changes must be seen.

Set milestones. Don’t expect all problems to be solved immediately. By giving a timeline and some key goals attached to deadlines will help highlight any improvement (or lack thereof).

Be clear with an employee when the next stage is termination. If the employee continues to underperform, be sure they understand that improvements must match benchmarks or the employee will be fired, at the end of the day the power is yours.