This isn’t a termination. This is a reality check.
It seems as if lately I am seeing an increasing number of articles, webinars, and people standing on street corners selling seminars on terminating someone from their job.
George Clooney is even playing a guy who fires people for a living at a theatre near you. (although you would be better off seeing “Up” than “Up in the air”)
You know the seminars and articles I mean. They are the ones with titles like:
- How to terminate an employee safely
- How to avoid legal risk when doing a termination
- Successful Terminations
- How to legally terminate employees with attitude problems
Termination is not rocket science!
These classes and their ilk have a role in business, but the idea of terminating someone is being turned into something far more scary than it should be. I’m not saying just fire someone at the drop of a hat.
Where things are going wrong is that terminations are turning into events with multiple chapters, rather than business decisions. If you are doing things halfass right anywhere near correctly to begin with, a termination should normally not be that much of a surprise. It should feel and look much more like the culmination point of a series of events that were designed to prevent this final step from ever happening in the first place.
Terminate your fear
Here is what you need to do every day to be able to terminate without fear.
- Hire good managers
- Have fair rules in place
- Enforce the rules fairly
- Hold employees accountable
- Document according to the rules
- If the rules are broken enough times, and you have rached the end of the process steps
- Terminate the employee
- Go do some productive work
You will get in trouble if you fail to do the above, so don’t do that. You can pay for a class, or call a lawyer if that makes you feel better, but you shouldn’t have to that very often.