The Right Way To Let An Employee Go

photo credit: FunnyBiz

The Wall Street Journal:

At one time or another, as a business owner you’ll probably have to deal with a problem employee who under performs or violates one of the rules you’ve outlined in your employee handbook. Your first course of action is to talk privately with the employee, adjust the job as need be, and give him or her time to improve performance. Make sure to document unacceptable behavior. If your employee fails to improve after repeated warnings (as a general rule of thumb, allow for three), then it’s time to let that person go.

One of the best aspects to hiring an employee is that most employment opportunities are “at will”, meaning the employer can let an employee go at anytime as well as an employee can quit at anytime. As long as there is no written contract stating a specific amount of employment time, it should be rather easy (law wise) to let an employee go.

When you have given the proper amount of warnings without any change from the employee and you have complete documentation regarding the employees behavior and performance without any change on their side, then it’s time to sit down with the employee and let them know they are being terminated.

Take the employee into a quiet conference room away from the rest of the workers as a respect issue for the employee. Explain to them in detail why they are being let go, show them the several warnings they were given and the requests that were made by you for better performance. Do not wonder off into debate or reconsideration terms, calmly tell them they need to gather their personal belongings, return any business property such as ids and keys to the building and quietly leave the premises.

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