How to Effectively Fire an Employee
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© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD
1. You should consider firing the employee only if you've done the following.
a) given the employee clear indication of what you originally expected from him or her (via a written job description previously provided to the him or her);
b) have clearly written personnel policies which specify conditions and directions about firing employees and the employee initialized a copy of the policy handbook to verify that he or she had read the policies;
c) warned the employee in successive and dated memos which clearly described degrading performance over a specified time despite your specific and recorded offers of assistance and any training (the number of memos depends on the nature of the problem, but should be no more than three or four); and
d) you clearly observe the employee still having the performance problem. (Note that if the employee is being fired within a probationary period specified in your personnel policies, you may not have to meet all of the above conditions.)
2. Take a day or so to consider what you are about to do.
For example, consult with members of your board.
3. If you still decide to fire the employee, do so promptly.
Do this, both for your credibility with other staff members and so as not begin procrastinating about this rather painful, upcoming event.
4. Write a letter of termination to the employee.
As with the previous letters of warning, be clear about the observed behaviors, when you saw them, earlier warnings and their consequences, what you did in response, and the consequence that must now be enacted according to your policies.
5. Tell the computer system administrator to change the employee's password.
. Assert that this action should be done promptly and in complete confidence.
6. Meet with the employee. Provide them the letter. Explain how the termination
Include explanation of when, what they must do, what you request from them and when. Ask for any keys. Give them a half hour or so to remove personal items (you may choose to monitor them during this removal, depending on the nature of the grounds for dismissal). Consider changing the door locks to the facilities. Change the passwords on phone systems, if applicable.
7. As with other meetings, make notes of what was said and exchanged.
Keep them in your records.
of Firing an Employee
Guidelines for hiring and firing
The proper route to firing an employee
Avoiding Employee Lawsuits
Firing with Dignity
How to Fire Employees
Is It My Job to Fire Employees?
When You Fire an Employee
Should You Fire Yourself?
Firing the "So-So" Workers
Firing the Executive Director
For the Category of Supervision:
To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may
want to review some related topics, available from the link below.
Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.
Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.
General Information About Supervising Other Individuals
- Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business
- by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best employees for your business. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or employee), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among employees of small businesses. Many materials in this Library's topic about staffing are adapted from this book.
- Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff
- by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best staff members for your nonprofit. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or staff member), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among nonprofit staff. Many materials in this Library's topic about staffing are adapted from this book.
The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.