It takes me about 1 week to get up the courage to fire someone. It hurts to be fired and to fire someone. I think in all my management experience, I have only glad-fully fired 2 people, but to tell you the truth, I should have fired more right off the bat. As much as it may hurt, any business today cannot afford to keep unproductive people. Unproductive people breed even more unproductively. Firing someone is of the toughest decision a business owner or manager has to make. When do you fire someone? Have you documented everything so you won’t get sued? Have you learned from your mistakes?
If you watched The Apprentice- Donald Trump got it right- he hired very slow (9 weeks) fired very fast (every week) and made alot of money doing it.
Rules of Thumb: Hire Slow, Fire Fast.
- Make sure you really need the position and write a job description with all skills that are need.
- Take your time and interview, interview and re-interview.
- Don’t hire a body- make sure they have the skills you need.
- Cross Train other staff to pick up responsibilities so you don’t just hire another body.
- Is there another solution- the employee could just be in the wrong position. You hired a receptionist, but the skill level is selling eyewear.
- If you know right away- document, document, and document some more. Employee evaluations, counseling, weekly meetings, but the key word- document, document and document some more.
- Speak to your attorney, legal counsel and or labor board to make sure you have all your ducks in a row.
- Once assured of all the right documentation (check your state laws) do it quickly- don’t wait.
Speaking from experience, it doesn’t get better the longer you wait. There is no good time to fire anyone. In some cases the firee was relieved. They were hanging on by a thread, they were miserable and it was a relief for them to be let go.