Tips Aimed at Procedures for Termination of Company
When considering my approach to terminating employees who fail
to perform to standards, I reflect back through my own professional
life as an employer. I realize there have been times when the
decision was quick and seemingly easy because of a severe breach of
company policy on the part of the employee.
However, even with these decisions, I always tried to remain
conscious of the potential effect the termination would have on the
rest of my work force as well as the family of the employee now
unemployed. It is also important to note that -for me the longer an
employee had been with our company, the more difficult it was to
Then, there were those particular employee situations that
presented some of the most difficult decisions of my career.
Having worked consistently for the company for an extended
period of time sometimes years it is not unusual for an employee’s
performance to fall in one or more of the following three
categories: non-alignment, poor attitude or not keeping pace.
When the values, ethics or principles of an employee are
revealed to be opposed to that of the company, the non-alignment
begins to erode the relationship. This cannot be changed through
training. Rather, it is a condition that becomes more evident over
Whether it’s personal problems, dissatisfaction with the job or
any of a number of “stories,” a poor attitude will wear out
everybody nearby and has the added danger of spreading throughout
an organization if not checked thoroughly. While there is always
potential for change here, it is not likely. Again, it is only a
matter of time.
It is my feeling that in order for a company to truly be
successful, it needs to grow and evolve. While the company grows
and evolves, employees may be either reluctant or resistant to the
changes around them or they may simply not be equipped to keep pace
with that environment. To prevent this from happening, offer a
thorough training program as new employees will be made aware of
the company philosophy and the goals set to be achieved.
But be warned: All of these situations speak to a deterioration
of an initial relationship founded on trust and respect. Once
questions begin to arise, it can be very difficult to repair and
strengthen, let alone move on to greatness.
As an employer, I have always been concerned about treating my
employees with a strong sense of fairness.
Consequently, I am often consumed with whether I have done all
that I could to clarify the job description for a new employee or
if I have provided the necessary tools and training. I always
wonder if there is more that I can do.
I believe that many employers are troubled with the decision to
release employees because of the investment in years of experience
they have spent with those employees. Granted, the relationship
between employee and employer can be one of the most rewarding and
significant relationships of our lives. And, it is also natural to
have reservations about whether we can do without a particular
person, an employee who was with us from day one, or who we have
become “friends,” with or the big one a family member. As a result,
we as employers can get paralyzed by indecision.
My long-time management coach told me many times: “Hire slowly,
release quickly.” Therefore, asking ourselves two simple questions
can provide the motivation needed to make the right decision
regarding whether or not to dismiss an employee.
- “Is this person a good employee or a great employee?”
- “Would I hire this person for this position if they were
If the answers to one or both of these questions is no, then it
may be time for a change. You don’t want to get to the point that
the decision is made for you.
As a final thought, consider that Verne Harnish, author of
Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, states that “One great employee
can do the work of three good ones.”
Another way to look at it is when you find the right employee
you will be paying more for greatness, but at the same time
lowering total payroll expense and pumping productivity through
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