• RSS Feed

  • Free Skype Call

    Skype Me™!
  • Twitter

    NZbizadvice on Twitter
  • Testimonials

    "Mark has been working with me since May 2004 on many aspects of my business.

    He is very approachable & offers me practical advice and his communication skills are excellent. I would have to say Mark gives his all and is determined to help his clients succeed".

    Owner, Small Pet Shop

    "Mark Gwilliam and his team at Business Advisory Accounting & Tax Services has been my full service accounting department for many years for my companies.

    I rely on the fast, friendly and accurate information they provide me to analyse and concentrate on running my business. Any information that I need is readily available. To eliminate the costs and hassles of in-house accounting, I highly recommend Mark's team."

    Owner, Medium sized building business
  • Recommended business products

    Domain Registrations starting at $9.98* Stock Photos, Royalty Free Stock Photography, Photo Search

Firing employees: The right way and the wrong way

It’s very common nowadays for managers to resort to extreme measures such as firing employees just so the business or company can stay afloat.  Then there is the other, more common reason for firing an employee.  That is, when an employee has become a non-performing asset, a liability so to speak, he or she is usually fired.  One other reason for firing employees is the “greater good”.  This usually applies when an employee, through their own behaviour and attitude, disrupts the peace of the entire company.  Whatever the underlying reason, however, firing an employee is never an easy task.

The right way

You must remember that there is a proper way of letting go of an employee.  If you choose this path, you will avoid creating an enemy and perhaps even save your company from a costly legal battle.

1.  You must have the right reasons.  Why are you really letting your employee go?  If you are firing your employee because of their dismal performance, that’s understandable.  If you are letting them go because it is crucial that your company be downsized or because the employee has behavioural problems, that’s unfortunate yet still understandable.  However, if you are letting personalities – particularly the clash of theirs and yours – colour your decision, then you must think again.

2.  You must follow common courtesy.  You must sit the person down in your office and talk to them privately.  It is even more important that he or she hear it from you first.  Moreover, do not let other employees know about the dismissal before the involved employee knows about it.  Inform your employee about your decision as soon as it has been made so that they can prepare for the inevitable.

3.  You must follow standard operating procedures.  You must be careful to keep the matter legal.  Before you proceed with the dismissal, review your company policies that concern firing employees.  You must follow the details of your employee’s employment contract to the letter.  If a month’s notice is necessary, you should abide by that.  Furthermore, it is required that you file a written report of the dismissal, let the employee read and sign it, then file it for record purposes.  The employee must also be fully appraised of the reason for their dismissal and you must listen to what they want to say as well as answer their questions, if there are any.

4.  You should be civil and professional.  It is important to remember that while the interview cannot be really pleasant (you are firing an employee, for goodness’ sakes), it can still be civil.  Thus, you should be professional.  Do not scold the employee and go through their transgressions; proceed in a matter-of-fact manner, instead.  It would be even better if you can be empathetic; just never be antagonistic.

The wrong way

Doing anything that violates the above is to fire an employee the wrong way.  Personal reasons, gender discrimination and avoidance of workers’ compensation (firing injured employees) should not be reason for firing an employee.  Moreover, never treat the matter unprofessionally; telling all others before the employee concerned, engaging in rumour mongering and callousness on your part encourage bad feelings.  All these can leave your company vulnerable to litigation.

Add a comment