Removing an Employee

Occasionally, we are put in the position of removing an employee; that is, we must fire them. In many cases, we will not have enough documentation to validate the ineptitude of such an employee. Furthermore, we may not have a standard algorithm (procedure) to follow when removing this individual.

Many companies add the impediment of requiring a growth plan for the employee. These documents supposedly provide an opportunity for the offending employee to change their patterns of behavior. In our experience, this approach presents a false hope and mostly delays the inevitable.

Inflated employee evaluations also make the process difficult. Weak managers may have given this problematic employee bloated assessments in order to avoid confrontation. As we approach the moment of truth, these overblown evaluation come back to haunt us, making it extremely difficult to explain how it is the employee is the problem and not our management incapability.

I fired six people over 15 years. I carefully considered the options and I certainly did not enjoy the event. In each case, the behavior was egregious, and in a couple of cases, the employee was lucky we didn’t follow up with legal action.

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