Before You Fire That Employee…


Alert Students: I once asked a department head, “How many direct reports work for you?”

He says, “About half…”

Your Business Blogger(R) works with CEO’s to develop–fancy word for “train”–managers and individual contributors.

But sometimes things Just. Don’t. Work. Out.

“How do I fire this deadwood incompetent on my payroll?” the manager asks.

Your Human Resource (anti) Personnel Department will counsel the Alert Manager on employee termination. With paperwork–CYA nonsense–and assorted busywork to prevent a wrongful termination lawsuit after a proper and lawful hanging. But there is hope in attempting to rescue the employee.

Follow this three step process:

1) Train and document the employee in the work that he should be doing.

When that doesn’t work — and it won’t,

Counsel, and

2) Place the employee in the organization chart where his limited skills will match his new limited responsibilities.

When that doesn’t work — and it won’t,

Counsel, and

3) Expect the deadwood non-performing asset [employee] to either leave your company or– more likely — not take the hint. The Time is Now to Terminate.

Yes, be Caring. Considerate. Offer outplacement. Find him another job in another sister company (greater fool theory). Offer big severance. Off-site office support. Whatever. Get him off your fixed costs. A concerned countenance is helpful. I guess.

You will be surprised at the office reaction: Why didn’t you do that firing sooner…?



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