If you’re in a professional role that sees you tasked with hiring people, the chances are that at some point, you’re going to have to fire an employee.
Assuming the employee didn’t do something despicable to warrant being fired with cause, the process can be tricky. The last thing you want for your company is to have a wrongful termination suit to deal with on top of all your daily duties, and if you aren’t careful about the termination process, that’s exactly what might happen. So with that said, here are a few things every employer must do when they believe they have no choice but to fire an employee.
Build Your Case To Fire The Employee
The first time an employee does something wrong probably doesn’t merit anything more than a simple verbal instruction to not make the same mistake again. If you’re noticing a pattern of the employee’s behavior or lack of productivity, though, you’ll have to document the transgression in writing- and make sure the employee formally acknowledges it. This way, if the undesirable activity from the employee continues and you have to fire him or her, he or she will have officially acknowledged the steps that were taken that led the employer to pull the trigger, and therefore cannot claim that the termination of employment came as such a surprise. Depending on your personal level of patience as a manager, the severity of the infractions that lead to write-ups, and how hard the employee appears to be trying, the number of write-ups necessary before the employee is terminated can vary.
Pull The Trigger On A Tuesday
If the employee doesn’t respond to your various warnings and the professional relationship is broken beyond repair, you’ll have to prepare for your termination procedure. Contrary to what some people may believe, Friday is not the best time to fire someone. Beyond the fact that the firing could ruin their weekend, in this day and age, that could give the person the weekend to plot some sort of unspeakable revenge against the company (and we’ll just leave that there.) Instead, in the name of pushing forward, firing the person on a Tuesday is the best move because it gives them a needed jolt to jump right into their job search and engross themselves in it for the rest of the week. And doing so on Tuesday gives your HR department the full day on Monday to get everything ready for the meeting.
Keep The Termination Meeting Brief, But Clear
You don’t want to embarrass the person you’re letting go. You’re simply making a business decision. Lay out the paper trail you’ve built (i.e. all the write-ups) and explain that the decision is final, and there is no chance that the employee can change your mind. Wish the now-former employee well moving forward and be sure to let him or her know that there was nothing personal about the decision.