It has come down to the unhappy moment when there is no
other choice—you must fire an employee. One of many
valid reasons (incompetence, violation of company rules,
necessary downsizing, and the like) has brought you to
this decision. Now you must take action.
First, you must act decisively. Once you decide to fire
an employee, procrastination will only make a bad situation
worse. This is especially true if the employee senses imminent
termination in his or her future. The longer you put off
the procedure, the more time the employee has to go into
the defense mode. He or she will consciously or unconsciously
try to make you feel the problem is you. In the worst case
scenario, the employee will take actions that hurt your
business. The other end of that spectrum is the employee
will simply slack off; sometimes, stopping work altogether.
Next step is to make a plan. When you are about to fire
an employee, it is not the time to shoot from the hip.
If you fail to consider legalities and proper procedures,
this process can cost your business dearly.
Planning to Fire an Employee
In the planning to fire an employee, there are several
things to consider:
*Do I need to give the employee a letter of termination?
If you fire an employee for “cause,” a clear,
well-written statement of the reasons for the termination
will inhibit any future legal action by the employee.
* Have I planned out exactly what I am going to say when
I fire an employee? A brief set of notes will help you
be sure to “cover all the bases” when you call
the employee in for the termination interview.
*Have I given the employee opportunity to change? In other
words, have I ever counseled the employee, given a warning
letter, provided enough training? Failure to follow such
procedures may come back to haunt you in a labor dispute.
*Do I need to prepare a letter of recommendation? You
should not give an employee whom you fire “for cause” any
recommendations. Other employees, however, may merit such
consideration, and a short letter of recommendation may
take the edge off the unpleasant situation.
These are just a few of the questions that could make
matters easier when it comes time to fire an employee.
There are many resources available to guide you through
this process. If you take the time to collect this information
before you fire an employee, it will make the termination
go more smoothly and prevent legal problems later.
a bad employee is causing more problems than you think.