Many operators fear firing people and remain stuck with the wrong employees. Are you dealing with the same mistakes always being made by the same people? Have you covered your bases and made sure you have communicated your expectations clearly?
If you’re convinced that it’s them and not you, it may very well be time to fire these people and replace them with new hires that are more competent.
Here’s how to do it like a pro.
1. Written Infraction Notices
Firing someone within the probation period doesn’t require a write up, but any employee with tenure is a risk for a wrongful dismissal. To prevent a potential lawsuit accusing you of wrongful termination, it is a smart idea to use written infraction notices every time you catch an employee doing something that is causing you problems.
Being consistent with writeups does two things. First, it shows your employee that you mean business. Secondly, it provides a paper trail that shows you did everything you possibly could to rectify the problem before firing.
This procedure serves as great evidence in court in the case a wrongful dismissal lawsuit is brought against you. Just make sure your writeups have the date, your signature, and the employee’s signature for verification. Firing employees like a pro means having your paperwork ready.
2. Prepare for Backlash and Manage Anger
Employees with hurt feelings will say all kinds of things when they are shown the door. Popular comments include, “I will sue you,” “This place will go down without me,” and, “This is garbage,” along with personal insults.
During these emotional outbursts, you must never be swayed from what you are setting out to achieve. Remember that the end goal of firing someone is not to get into an argument. The end goal is to sever ties with an employee, allow them to retain their dignity as much as possible, and bring the least possible harm to your business during the transition period of their replacement. Most people are not happy when fired, but it can be minimized by how you fire someone.
I once knew an operator of a busy nightclub who was famous for firing people and having them leave the meeting smiling and laughing about the situation. He just had a way of firing people without hurting their dignity. This operator told me his secret was to separate the person’s performance from their character. To fire people like a pro, you must have strategies like this to manage anger.
3. Conduct Interviews to Prepare for Replacements
You should always be interviewing new people, even if you don’t need them. This way you know you always have a new superstar in the wings ready to replace anyone who you don’t want to work with anymore. This helps your confidence when it comes time to fire and replace people. It also keeps things running smoothly during any staff transitions as there is no lag time between firing someone and having their replacement ready to step in immediately.
Every pro knows that the new blood is the lifeblood of their business, so always keep your ads out and new resumes coming in. As a side benefit – because all your staff gossip – when current employees see you constantly interviewing new people, it keeps them on their toes. When they know you are always looking for new talent, your current team works that much harder to keep you happy.