Ill always remember the day I had to fire three of our technical people. It was a Monday.
The individuals were developers on an R&D project. The project was highly secretive - we had few competitors. Two of the programmers were among our most knowledgeable, and although I never believed that they would damage any files or let loose viruses on our servers, we had to plan for the worse. On Sunday, their logins would be changed and they would not even be allowed back in their cubes. Another manager and I had a very heart-wrenching and emotional weekend sorting through desks and files and boxing personal items. I felt very, very bad.
We had exercised the utmost care in evaluating and counseling these individuals during the three previous months. Every legal requirement had been adhered to, documentation was thorough and personnel files complete. Nothing should come as a surprise.
But, it didnt make it any easier. All Sunday night, I struggled. What should I say? How should I say it? What if they get angry? How do I respond when they insist the assessment is wrong? The Director of Human Resources gave me a copy of a two-page article that tried to answer these questions. It was hardly enough. Still, I clung to every word, writing out how I would say, Youre fired, with some sensitivity, and practiced out loud in my office.
I didnt sleep a wink that night. The next morning, I delivered my prepared message the best I could. I took the rest of the afternoon off.
The next day, I happened to speak with the CEO, and I mentioned how hard that experience had been for me. He told me that he, too, cant sleep knowing hes to fire someone the next morning. And, it never gets any easier.
No matter how many times
one goes through the process, we all have a fear of firing. I dont
know where the two-page article went, but I was asked for it often by other
managers and VPs in the same predicament. It seems every
professional yearns for guidance when confronted with termination meetings.
The weeks featured resource is I Have to Fire Someone! by Richard S. Deems, and its right on target, the book I would have given anything for that Sunday night. In 101 pages, this practical how-to guide prepares you for the process and walks you through potential employee reactions. It is excellent, and I highly recommend that you get a copy now. On some Sunday night, youll be very glad you planned ahead.
I Have to Fire Someone by Richard S. Deems, Ph.D, softcover, 101 pages, $12.99.
Employee termination can be one of the most stressful experiences that anyone in the workforce can face. But few stop to consider that its as agonizing - if not more so - for the employer as it is for the employee. And, its especially difficult for the new manager who may not have much experience with hiring, firing, and other employee issues.
In I Have to Fire Someone!, author Richard Deems presents a simple, practical process that assures that you can fire someone effectively and humanely - and protect your company from a potential lawsuit.
Whether you are a two-person or thousand-person division, these guidelines will lessen or eliminate your own fear of firing. No one enjoys the firing process, but when it has to be done, you need to do it right - for yourself, the employee, and the company.
We encourage you also to get these books written in the same practical style for your management library:
Firing Without Fear; A Legal Guide For Concientious Employers, by Barbara Kate Repa, softcover, 228 pages, 2000, $29.95
In this book you will find
out everything you need to know about progressive discipline, intervention,
and retraining; deciding when to keep or fire an employee; the process of
letting an employee go; and the laws, myths, and realities of firing.
Square, & Legal: Safe Hiring, Managing, and Firing Practices to Keep
You and Your Company Out of
by Donald E. Weiss, hardcover, 372 pages, 2000, $29.95
Do you really know what
you're doing, legally speaking, when you interview candidates, appraise staff,
or fire employees? Are you sure? This "must have" guide is one
book you cannot afford to be without, literally.
How to Find and Keep the Best People
by Richard S. Deems, Ph.D, softcover, 126 pages, $12.99
How can I be more effective when conducting a hiring interview? What questions should I ask? What questions are illegal to ask? How can I really predict if a candidate will fit?
The process of interviewing and selecting an employee can seem like a hit or miss proposition - especially to new managers who may not have a lot of hiring experience. In todays times when even small companies can spend thousands of dollars a year to recruit, hire, and train a single productive employee, you cant afford to misstep.
Hiring: How to Find and Keep the Best People puts more science
into the hiring process, presenting a practical, hands-on workbook to guide
you through a hiring effort that will target the right employees for your
by Karen McKirchy, softcover, 126 pages, $12.99
Too often, a potentially productive employee winds up underperforming or, worse, leaving your company because he or she hasnt received the necessary feedback needed in order to do the job well.
Managers can avoid this costly situation simply by giving employees more effective performance evaluations. Even in small companies, effective appraisals that elicit employee commitment and loyalty are crucial to business success.
In his timely book, author
Karen McKirchy emphasizes the human touch as the missing component
from most performance appraisals. In Powerful Performance Appraisals,
he offers practical, step-by-step guidelines that will put that human touch
into the performance evaluation, leading to more employee productivity.
Following these guidelines is bound to change the evaluation process
from a dreaded duty to a time that both appraisers and employees look forward
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Company Restructuring Services. All rights reserved.
Last modified June 4, 2002