Avoiding Employee Problems: Firing Farm or Stable Workers

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Do you know how to properly fire an employee who isn't working out?

When you hire an employee, you are always hopeful that the contractual arrangement will be a perfect fit for both you and the employee. But what happens when things begin to go wrong and you find this person isn’t suitable for the job, doesn’t fit in with other staff members, or has problems complying with company policy?

To begin, when you hire someone, it is important that the person read and understand the contract he or she signs as well as your company policy. This ensures that everyone is on the same page from the beginning. Don’t skip this process as it could lead to difficulties later.

Second, be sure that you have made the job description and your expectations quite clear. This gives you room to modify problems early on by direct communication and explanations to the employee. It is always wise to give someone a chance to correct his or her mistakes, when possible. In some cases, the chemistry between employee and the business or people in the business is so obviously wrong that it is best to simply let that person go.

The Firing Process

Firing someone is uncomfortable no matter how you accomplish it, but in every way possible, it is important to protect your business. In a perfect world, you have a face-to-face meeting and let the person down gently by simply saying, “I’m sorry, but I have to let you go.” Hopefully there have been second (and third) chances for the employee so he or she understands where performance might have been deficient so the firing won’t come as a surprise. In some cases, it might have to do with the need to lay the person off due to lack of work in your business – this should be explained. In all cases, have your facts straight about the person along with documentation about his or her performance (or lack thereof) whenever possible.

An employee being fired might experience one or a combination of reactions: The person might sit quietly; begin crying; become angry, defensive, interruptive, or argumentative; or attempt to negotiate. No matter what happens, it is best if you don’t get drawn into an argument. The less you say, the better, although you do need to provide a reason for the termination. This should be done professionally and respectfully, and in a manner that retains the employee’s dignity. Have necessary paperwork at the ready for signatures when appropriate.

In some cases, it helps to have a witness on hand, which can be problematic since the employee might feel "ganged up on," but it also ensures that the employee can’t later claim you said things you didn’t.

Allow the employee a chance to voice their opinions or objections, then get down to the business of escorting that person from the premises or discussing the exact termination date and details. Be as gracious as possible, provide the final paycheck, wish the person the best, and even shake hands as you see him or her off the property. 

Once the deed is done, you will likely feel remorse, but remember that your job is to enable your business to be as efficient, productive and profitable as possible.

Resources

Business News Daily has this article: Time to Let Go? 15 Expert Tips for Firing Employees

HumanResources4U.com offers the article: The Correct Way to Terminate an Employee

Monster.com has this article: How to Terminate an Employee without Breaking their Spirit

Entrepreneur.com has this article: How to Fire an Employee So You Don't Get Sued