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Terminating an Employee

Date: 05/03/2007 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

Donald Trump makes it look easy. Yeah, sure, its just a “realityâ€? show seeking ratings, but every once and a while, I wish having to terminate an employee was that easy. Who hasn’t had to deal with an employee that had to be fired? In most cases, even when they deserve it, its still a difficult task to do. Probably because, like most people, we would prefer to avoid conflict and tension. Yet, if you’ve done everything you can to retain or possibly retrain a problem employee, and you’ve given them ample opportunity to succeed, it’s time to take a deep breath and do the deed.Here are a few steps you can take toward terminating an employee:

  1. Leave the blarney at home. In reviews, employers like to look to the positive and flatter their employees. They often forget to bring the negative items to the table to discuss. This leaves the employee thinking everything is just fine, when the exact opposite is true. If you have problems with an employee, be up front with them. Do no sugar coat it or leave them suffering under the illusion that they are doing a great job when they aren’t. Without some prior indication that there are issues, that employee is going to be completely blind-sided when pulled in to be fired. This only increases their anger and animosity levels toward you and the company.
  2. Don’t procrastinate. Once you know you have to terminate an employee, don’t put it off. The longer you put off having that discussion, the greater your chances of loosing customers, money, or productivity. Can you afford that?
  3. Be conscious of the where and when. Take control of the situation by setting the where and the when. While you may think that Fridays at 4:00 p.m. in your office work best, think again. A better time would be on a Monday morning in a neutral location like a conference room. Waiting until Friday may anger the employee thinking they’ve wasted a whole week at their job when they could have been looking for another job. Conduct the interview in your office and you may never get the meeting to end. In a conference room or other neutral location, you can get up and walk out when you need to and still allow that employee a few minutes to regroup and collect themselves before leaving.
  4. Get to the point. Do not beat round the bush. The words are often harsh to hear, but they leave little ambiguity. Words like “firedâ€?, “terminatedâ€? or “let goâ€? leave no misunderstanding to their meaning. Be concise and let them know exactly why they are being terminated.
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