Although there are plenty of rewarding aspects of being a manager, there will come unfortunate times where you will need to decide whether or not to let an employee go. Obviously the entire termination process can be emotionally challenging and gut-wrenching, but it should never be an impulsive decision. To be sure you are making the right decision for your company while staying respectful to the employee, these are some questions to ask yourself before making the final call to fire.
Is the employee going to be blindsided?
Did you give the employee a chance to improve? Open communication and honesty with your employees is essential in a management role. Before being quick to fire someone, be sure there wasn’t a communication issue on your end. The employee can’t reach their goals if they don’t know what the goals are, and if an employee is underperforming, they should be aware. If you feel like the employee has no idea they are about to be fired, maybe a conversation and improvement plan is a better first step. Sometimes it’s beneficial to make sure you’ve done your part as their manager before making a decision to terminate their employment.
Does the employee have everything they need to succeed?
Was the employee given proper training? Does the employee have the latest and greatest software and tools to be productive and successful? If not, maybe their poor work performance isn’t entirely their fault and the issues can be resolved.
Is this the best time?
Is the employee in the middle of any pressing projects? Is your company in the midst of your busy season? Sometimes having below average help is better than no help and these are things to consider before deciding to fire an employee. If your patience is running thin and it is an inconvenient time to be short-staffed, start performing a confidential search for their replacement. To keep the search private and to save you time, consider calling a staffing agency to assist you in this search. KRG performs confidential searches frequently for companies looking to replace a current employee, and we will take care of all of the initial screening and interviews behind the scenes while you tie up loose ends in your office.
Have you thought about how this decision will affect the team as a whole?
Before firing an employee, think of the other team members who will have to take on the extra work and how you are going to address the situation with them. This unexpected, additional work could cause other employees to become stressed if not handled properly, so make sure you have a plan in place. Meet with these employees to reassure them that their jobs are secure and talk about your plan for the team moving forward.
Having to make the decision to fire an employee is never an easy one. Take some time to think about the whole picture first before you act.