Monday, November 7, 2011

Hit the road, Jack!

You’re fired! That is how Trump does it. But how about you? How do you fire someone correctly? I have read articles and heard speeches about the best way. I guess there is a right way and a wrong way, especially depending on the state you are in.

Do you have two people in the room? Do you have the office manager or the doctor do it? At the end of the week or the beginning? What about the time of the day? What about a severance package?

What is the reason? Downsizing, poor job performance, patient complaints, tardiness? Florida is a right-to-work state, so other than a few federal laws against discrimination, you can terminate someone for just about any reason you want.

Some people go into long drawn out reasoning. Others say just make it quick, short and final. I would think you want to try to be nice about it. You hear all the crazy stories were someone comes back and shoots up the place. It happened just a few years ago down in Orlando.

I guess in the ideal scenario, everyone would shake hands and tell each other everyone is great but it just did not work out. But that is probably not the normal scene. Sometimes there are nasty words and anger; other times, crying and shock. I have seen even indifference where they seemed to know it was coming.

Afterwards there employee dynamics temporarily shift. I swear that a third of the remaining office staffs (we have about 14 staff members) are glad the person was terminated and know all the reasons. One third does not really care and go about their week almost like nothing happened, and the other third are upset and just cannot believe you did that.

I have never regretted letting someone go because they just were not doing their job well enough to warrant them remaining. I thought some were nice people but it just did not work. Some were just not nice people and I was glad to see them go.

What always works is when someone that you were preparing to fire leaves on their own. Then you can always be nice and act sad when you are really jumping for joy. That is always the easy way out.

I really stress out about terminating someone because I do not like to deliver bad news. But every time is has proven to be the right choice in the long run.

The responsibilities of being an owner and leader are not always fun. It is a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Have a good week.



Anonymous said...

Firing somebody sucks. It isn't fun and here it isn't cheap either. I don't know about your severance laws, but here it's a week's pay per year service, minimum. Usually it's advised to pay more to avoid a civil suit. Imagine the newly pregnant 6 year employee who has turned bad. If you fire her she could claim it's due to her pregancy, then you're talking a 100K suit or more. The severance I've been advised to give is 30K. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

I don't see why you can't fire someone without any repercussions these days. That really upsets me. The employee has all the rights and the employer does not have the right to expect employee will do the job correctly. said...

The employee definitely has all the rights.

Dr. Andy said...

Actually, my attorney stated that here in California we have an at will state. Employment is at will of the employer. However, he does have two exceptions:

1) you are sleeping with the employee

2) employee is pregnant

Of course if condition #1 led to #2 then you have bigger problems

Rajnish said...

A business owner always fires someone with a heavy heart. It is a sad thing but needs to be done with empathy and grace.

navygatordmd said...

Well Florida is an "at will' state we do not have any requirments for any severence very employer friendly. Still have to be carefull about upsetting people anyone can file a bogus law suite for anything and your insurance carrier will probably pay them of 10-20k just so they do not have to take it to court, too much. Makes you look guilty when all you are trying to do is get rid of a bad employee or reduce your overhead. Can you day "rock and a hard place". I am surprised to hear California is an "at will" state. The north east area of the US sounds brutal for small buisness owners.



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