Managing People - Firing Employees
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Firing Employees

Streetwise Tips on Firing Employees

* Donít take firing lightly

Usually, even a very weak job performance can be brought up to a satisfactory level. Firing, on the other hand, involves a significant legal risk. It also has a traumatic impact on other members of your staff, even if they understand and appreciate the reasons for the termination.

* Donít hesitate to consult with counsel

If you have any questions regarding a firing, consult with an expert employment attorney prior to the termination. You may save yourself the legal fees of a post-firing lawsuit.

* Plan what you are going to say

If you donít carefully plan out what you are going to say during a firing, and stick to it, chances are you will offer kind words regarding their work performance. This can lead to legal action. During a firing, you donít want to even hint at anything positive in the personís job performance.

* Be calm

Even if the employee you are firing irritates you, donít let on. If he or she lashes out verbally, donít get excited. Soon this person will be gone and will no longer be your problem.

* Be humane

Treat the employee you are firing as kindly as possible during the termination process. This is a very traumatic experience for them. Being kind, without conveying anything positive about their job performance, can assuage this trauma. And, of course, it can decrease the odds that someone will bring a wrongful firing suit against your company or place negative phone calls to your remaining staff.

* Avoid surprises

Give weak employees every opportunity to improve their work performance or attitude before opting to let them go. If you can prove that you have given them every possible chance, there will be less grounds for a lawsuit. Plus, other employees will feel less threatened by the implications of the firing.

Additionally, employees who have been aware for some time that their continued employment is on the line will find the actual firing less traumatic. It may well be that they will feel ďclued,Ē and will seek and find employment elsewhere before you can fire them.

At all costs, you want to avoid firing someone who has no idea that his or her job is in jeopardy.

* Have a strong paper trail

Good documentation of poor work performance or attitude is essential in defending against a wrongful firing suit. Make a record of any verbal warnings you have given to the employee and, if possible, issue written warnings to him or her well before the firing. Negative performance reviews are a must.

* Source Streetwise Small Business Start-Up

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