Firing an employee is never simple. As a manager you have to process whether or not you could have helped a little more, what this means for their livelihood, and prepare yourself for everything and anything that may come your way.
Following my three simple tips will help guide you through the termination process.
1. They Fire Themselves
A good manager should have honest communication with their staff. If an employee is not performing to company standards then they should be informed of where they are slacking and what can be done for improvement. Once you have had the necessary performance reviews and provided the tools for that employee to perform at an optimum level and the same problems still exist, it is not your fault, they fired themselves.
Expert Tip: have a formal, written review process. Reviews do not have to always be negative, positive write-ups help boost moral! Document EVERYTHING and keep all files in the employee’s folder.
2. Keep the Conversation to Two Minutes or Less.
Did you know most employer to employee relationships are on an “at will” basis – meaning by law you do not need to give the terminated employee an explanation of why they were fired. Avoid what I call “but” conversations. “But why?”, “But what if I…?”, but, but ,but… it’s too late. If you listen to all the “buts” it may strike a nerve where you either allow them to keep a job you know they cannot perform or it may even make you angry which is never a good emotion to tap into when terminating an employee. Have your answers planned for every question that they may ask, and remember you do not even have to answer them if you do not want.
Expert Advice: if you have more of a personal relationship and feel comfortable suggest you can speak outside of work after a few weeks have passed. NEVER right away! You need to process the payroll, unemployment, etc. NEVER get caught saying something that can damage you or the company.
3. Be Prepared!
You should have an employee termination form that you fill out before having the “conversation”. This form should also act as a checklist asking you, the manager, simple questions to jog your memory of the person’s employment – do they have keys? know passcodes? etc. This standard form is also good for HR to keep with the employees files and something that I would send to the payroll company as well. You should also be prepared by knowing what shifts/workload needs to be covered, etc. DO NOT pull the trigger until you have a plan in place. (Need help creating an employee termination form? Get in touch with the HBIC.)
Firing an employee is never easy. Because most people do not like confrontation the termination process is not handled properly. Remembering these three simple steps helps, I promise. Or you can just hire me and I’ll fire them for you! #hireabitch
HBIC Diana Marie