Unfortunately yet realistically every new hire isn’t a keeper. Occasionally termination is necessary. And this can actually be a positive outcome for both the terminated employee and the company. Typically termination of an employee is the result of one of the following:

  1. hiring the wrong candidate
  2. lack of proper training
  3. too little or no recognition for the employee

Hiring the wrong candidate can be minimized by having more than one person approve the hiring decision. Improving your training program can help reduce turnover. And finally recognition of employees can go a long way to improving retention.

But again it’s inevitable that a termination will result; occasionally you will have to fire an employee. There’s no more common leadership or management show-stopper than investing most of your time, effort and energy into non-productive employees in your company. It affects your company in numerous ways. Time spent with under-performers takes away time that can be invested in your stronger performers.

Firing employees can be an expensive venture, hence you owe it to your company and the employee in question by making every reasonable effort to help turn the under performer into a strong contributing team member.

Once you have exhausted a reasonable effort to help the employee improve by following a coaching and corrective action plan then it’s time to terminate. It’s obvious at that point that it’s not a good match for that employee, and they would prosper better elsewhere. Hence by firing that employee, you’re giving them a chance to succeed elsewhere. And you’re definitely improving your working environment by the departure to that employee.

Firing an employee is not an easy, enjoyable, fun task. If you feel that it is, you might be a candidate for sensitivity training. It requires honesty, directness, and sensitivity; not ‘beating around the bush’, vagueness, or ambiguity. It’s been said the tactfulness is the ability to be honest and sensitive at the same time. The goal is to part the employee from the company, and doing it in a way that the terminated employee can see some benefit.

It’s not easy but it can be done.