Mistakes are common in work culture, but when you find yourself relentlessly at odds with an employee, you may be wondering when to break the relationship.
Maybe this started with them missing a few deadlines, maybe they’ve created an unbreakable habit of coming in late and unprepared, or maybe they’ve become so undependable you can’t trust them with even the most basic task. Regardless of the indication, both you and your employee have built subconscious resentment towards each other, overall resulting in negative job performance, personal stress, and a inadvertent hostile working environment. Although it may be truly tempting to keep them on the team to to avoid a dreaded and awkward conversation, continuing an unpleasant relationship benefits neither side.
So, what is the breaking point?
Before making this decision, let’s take a moment to reflect…
First off, if you’ve already had the initial thought to fire this person, understand that this is a bad sign. In this case, your mind is-essentially-overruling your gut feeling, which you’ve been taught to trust since before you can remember. To make this important decision, it is required that you get your mind and gut on the same page-you can do this by asking yourself and honestly answering these questions.
- How will this person, if kept on, eventually contribute to the business and it’s success?
- When you dream about your perfect team, is this person a part of it?
Second, we’re going to get to the core. Consider each possible reason this employee is under performing.
- Have they received proper training, and if so, have they had enough of it?
- Does this person know that they are not performing well, and if not, will they put in the effort to live up to expectation?
- Does this person completely understand their responsibilities?
- Are expectations of the job clearly outlined?
Understanding the answers to these questions of reasons your employee may not be working to standard is crucial in making the decision to let them go or not.
Once you’ve internally answered these thought provoking questions, it’s time to get advice from a trusted outside source. However, when seeking this persons thoughts on the matter, refrain from swaying their opinion by using unbiased and open dialogue. Instead of pointing out this particular employee, explain a particular area weakness, and ask for their feedback. If they end up bringing up this person, ask for specifics to get a better vision on their endangered future with the company.
After you’ve analyzed the different questions in your head and outside perspectives, it is ethical that you make effort to have a conversation with this employee. Again, refrain from any passive aggressive language or emotional reaction, and remain honest and respectful. In an ideal situation, you’ve been having conversations with this employee over a period of time regarding their performance, but if not, focus on using this time to determine their own feelings about their future with the company.
Finally, it’s time to make your decision. If you decide to give your employee one more chance, that’s great! If not, or they are still unable to meet expectations in this last chance, here are some ways you can go about cutting ties.
As previously mentioned, it’s important that you prepare for the meeting by having documentation of their performance-performance reviews or performance plans-on hand. If you are worried about potential litigation, take the precaution and discuss the situation and your options with a lawyer before hand. Next, it’s imperative you consult with a trusted advisor about the most effective ways to to handle the situation, and have your speech prepared. Remember to stick to the facts and honestly explain why the employee’s performance is resulting in their termination. Be sure to hold the meeting in a private room with another person to ensure there is a witness if the conversation pivots into a less than favorable direction. To minimize future interaction , you can:
- Prepare materials the employee can take with him or her with information and forms to extend health benefits
- Other relevant material
- The employee’s last paycheck.
While initiating the conversation may feel awkward at first, this termination should honestly come as no surprise to the individual. Although ending the relationship with an employee remains a difficult task, performed carefully-with purpose-will ease the transition for each party, with mutual future interest in mind.
Having trouble with one or more of your employees? While the ultimate decision to let someone go results from repeat offense, lack of morale, to eventual detachment-damage control may be possible. With an experienced team here at MCDA CCG, INC. providing effective business management solutions and HR services to a wide range of companies, we can represent as your trusted advisors through the described thought process. This important decision shouldn’t be made on your own, reach out to a dependable and honest consultant-contact us today.