How to fire

How to fire an unstable worker: 5 managerial recommendations

How to fire? One of the most difficult moments that every business owner inevitably faces is firing employees. You need to think it over carefully.

The article describes the American experience. Nevertheless, some of these tips may be useful for domestic managers – approx. edition

Dear Suzanne,

I am a small business owner with 20 employees. I have a woman working for me whose skills were very important to us in 2003 when we hired her. But today everything is already different, and her qualifications remain practically irrelevant for our company (she remains busy only for 20% of the entire working week). Unfortunately, we cannot offer the retraining of the skills we need due to the highly technical nature of our work.

Coming from a purely economic basis, my decision should be easy. But there is one more circumstance: this person suffers from a mental illness, and I know about it. We have always tried to create a favorable working environment for her.

But I have to fire this employee because:

  1. We really need to find the means to hire the right person.
  2. She no longer contributes to the development of the organization.
  3. Her behavior has been intimidating to other employees lately.

And I’m really really afraid that something might happen if she doesn’t leave. I would like to offer her more, but at the moment the company can give her a month of vacation and, possibly, three months of sick leave. Do you have any other suggestions on how to resolve this situation positively for both sides?

Best regards, head of the company.

Dear company manager!

This is a very difficult situation. Almost every forced dismissal is painful for a manager, especially in this case.

Now you have to think about two things: your company and your people. You have 19 other employees who rely on your business, and you need to think about their needs as well.

How to fire an unstable worker?

So first, let’s think about how to protect your company:

1. Hire a lawyer. 

Yes, you have to spend, but in the long run it can save you money. You need a specialist in labor law. You need his help.

2. Choose your words carefully (think about what you are saying). 

I understand that you want to fire the employee because she does not have the skills that your business needs today. However, she also suffers from mental illness and is protected by the Disability Act, which requires you to create a supportive work environment (which you did). But this law does not prohibit you from firing someone. It just won’t let you fire someone because of their disability. And if you talk too much about her health problems, she may think that this is the reason why she is fired.

3. Weekends and vacations are your friends. 

Your lawyer will certainly tell you about this, but I want to remind you once again that it is also important to be able to protect your company. You say you can afford a month’s vacation and three months of health insurance. Wonderful. But if you can avoid it, then do it. A vacation application is a legal document that requires a person to give up their right to sue (but not in all cases – ask a lawyer) in exchange for a weekend. No signature – no days off.

4. A wonderful reason for dismissal is job cuts. 

You are not firing a person for their job or health problems. You are firing because of a job cut. Before you notify an employee of the termination, write a new job description and make sure it lists some of his responsibilities.

Now let’s turn our attention to your employee.

1. Severance pay. 

It will help her while she looks for a new job.

2. Help her apply for unemployment benefits. 

Yes, of course, your company will suffer some damage if your former employee applies for unemployment benefits. Deal with it. Your employee deserves it because, in the end, she did nothing wrong. She just lacks the skills. Help her find the information she needs.

3. Help with employment. 

You will not spend a lot of money if you arrange for your employee to meet with a job counselor. He will help her write a resume and find a new job.

4. Recommendations. 

Tell your coworker how you will characterize her. She has worked with you for 10 years and will need guidance from you. You must be honest, but also remember to be just kind.

It will not be easy, but sometimes the leader has to cut from the shoulder. This part of his job, which is sometimes very difficult.