Friday, March 2, 2012

Making the Decision to Fire an Employee

As a small business owner, keeping you and your business profitable, sustainable, and pleasant can rely heavily on your employees. What if one of them isn't making the cut? Below are some signals from the Young Entrepreneur Council (a non-profit organization that provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support a business’s development and growth) that it's time to let an employee go.

*No Call/No Show- Always be sure to document on a disciplinary report basic reasons for letting someone go. For example: on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 (Employee) did not arrive to work or call the manager to indicate she was unable to come to work.

*Integrity is Essential- If the employee has broken their integrity to the company, shame on the company—perhaps you need to have the conversation on how important it is to keep integrity. But if the employee breaks integrity a second time, shame on the employee. There is no need to give them another chance; this is the time to find someone else.

*Take Action When Actionable Feedback Is Ignored- Making mistakes is a pivotal part of an employee's learning and growth. When they happen, it's an opportunity to tell the employee what went wrong, provide coaching to curb future mistakes, and make clear what future success will look like and create a timeline for its achievement. Then, if an employee does not uphold his or her end of the performance improvement plan, you can take action.

*Hire Slow, Fire Fast- No leader has ever fired an employee and then said to themselves, "I wish I would have waited six more months before firing that person." If you're spending a significant amount of time considering this option, it means you should have already fired them.

*What Does Your Team Think?- In a small company, your team's happiness and attitude are absolutely critical. Having high-performers is important; but having a high-performer who spoils the mood of the team is never worth it. Make sure that everyone is aligned in your culture—if someone does not fit and will not adapt, you have to let them go for the benefit of the whole.

To see more tips from the Young Entrepreneur Council, please read the article "Enough is Enough: When to Fire an Employee" by Fox Business.

Firing an employee is never a fun task, but if they are bringing down the team, morale, profits, or scaring away customers, it's for the best that they leave.

As an ag entrepreneur, have you ever fired an employee? Why did you fire them? Do you have any tips on how to make the firing process as painless as possible? How has your business improved since that person has left?

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