By March 10, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Don’t Lose Sleep When You Have to Fire Someone

Don’t Lose Sleep When You Have to Fire Someone

As a manager, you will eventually have to fire someone. The first time I did it was really hard. I didn't sleep for a week between the decision and the act of actually bringing the person into a room and telling them they didn’t have a job anymore.

It is a distasteful thing for most people and while that’s probably a good thing, the reality is that to ensure you have a team and staff who can actually perform the role you need them to perform for you and for your company, you will probably need to fire someone at some point.

In some cases I had to convince my direct report to fire someone who reported to them. They didn't want to do it because they liked the person, or wanted to give them more chances to bring their performance up to standard. The problem with this is that you are often not doing the employee a favour and while you are dedicating time to that employee, you are probably neglecting other, more important things, including your higher performing staff who may be able to achieve even more with more support from you.

Frequently, the person you should fire simply isn't in the right job. They may have been improperly hired or the job has changed and they haven't changed with it.

Let’s face it, we all have things we can't do well - if they are struggling daily to do something they can't actually do, you aren't doing them a favor - re-assign them or cut them lose and let them get on with their life and find a job suitable to their skills and abilities. Just because they aren't right for the job they have doesn't necessarily mean they aren't a good employee, they are simply 'mis-employed'.

Several of the people I had to release found a good job and excelled at what they did. If we had tried to work with them in their current job, it wouldn't have been beneficial for either party. They would continue to struggle, and we wouldn't have achieved our required performance.

There are lots of theories on how best to release an employee, and your HR department will be able to help you with that. As long as they are dealt with fairly and compensated in accordance with prevailing laws and practice, you shouldn't have a problem. Consider it an investment in the future, then work hard to hire the right person for the job the next time.

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

Posted in: Human Resources

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