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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
How to Fire an Employee
In the words of Donald Trump, “You’re Fired!” As a small business owner with employees there may come a time when you have to terminate someone’s income stream. It’s that dreaded day that some of us hope will never come.
If and when the firing time comes, be prepared by following these 9 steps:
1) Check your past feedback.
What are your relations with this employee? If on decent terms don’t fire immediately, rather, give them time for change under a new way of doing things to your standards.
2) Give them a warning.
Give the employee an ultimatum to change, else risk loosing their job. 30 days is a fair time span for change.
3) Focus on specific behavior goals.
What do you want them to change about their performance? Be prepared for your meeting with the worker to discuss the issues and ways to fix them.
4) Fire early in the week and never on a Friday.
Nobody wants a worker going “postal” the following Monday morning. Do it early in the week to give them a chance to find another job quickly.
5) Make it short, sweet and to the point.
State your objective, give a reason if you wish and be done… which leads us to the next step.
6) Do not let the employee linger.
Send them home immediately. Ask them to return at a later time to clean their desk/cubicle out.
7) Ask for a release, and give them an incentive to sign it.
This statement should be crafted by a lawyer, typically taking an hour to create. This document will protent you in the event of a legal dispute with the employee.
8) Reassign the terminated employee’s job duties promptly.
One person will not stop you from achieving your objectives. Get someone in the spot quickly to continue the normal flow of business.
9) Do not fight the claim for unemployment benefits.
If you do, there will likely be an in-court hearing which means time and money. Your ex-employee is likely to be awarded benefits anyway, and if you say one thing out of line, you’ve just given your ex-employee “Exhibit A” in their lawsuit for wrongful termination.
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