Firing employees isn’t fun for anyone, especially for small business owners. But there comes a time when an employee doesn’t have the chops for what you hired them for, or they can’t keep up, or some life circumstance is affecting their performance on the job. Firing with empathy can go along way, and handling the firing like a jerk can seriously damage your company’s employee relations. When faced with this situation, consider the following three tips on how to better handle a difficult and delicate process.
- People Talk. Former employees also are future brand ambassadors. How you treat them during the firing process, will influence how they will speak about your company. Treat them with kindness when you deliver the bad news, and help them find a job that pays more if they’re interested. They’ll appreciate the help, and in turn, will remember you a more positive light.
- Give Chances. Before firing someone for making a mistake, talk to them about their performance and ask how you can help them improve. Remember: the best leaders develop their employees and guide them when they go off task. Obviously, there’s a limit to this, but giving someone a chance to improve might allow you to save the time and investment in an employee, rather than losing them entirely.
- Keep in Touch. It might sound counter intuitive, but staying in touch with past employees, even the one’s who were terminated, might send you new business opportunities. Think about it in terms of referrals, and the value of having a vast network you can leverage. Sometimes things don’t work out, and folks move on and end up better jobs. When a need arises for your product or service, that employee you fired with dignity can refer your business.