SLIDESHOW: How to Fire Underperforming Employees in 10 Easy Steps
It's not easy dealing with a Lazy Leonard, an Underperforming Pattie or an Ineffective Ian.
Like it or not, every company must deal with them -- often with a warning or two, and eventually with a formal dismissal.
The process is far from enjoyable. Not even a Schadenfreude Supervisor looks forward to the task of letting people go. Nonetheless, they must march into the office and remove those who simply are not getting the job done.
On the new Fox (NASDAQ: NWS) series, Does Someone Have to Go?, CEOs are giving up control of their companies to see if their employees can make positive changes. As the title implies, this could lead to the termination of someone's job.
On the next two episodes (airing Thursday, June 20 and Thursday, June 27), True Home Value CEO Larry Smith will hand over his company to several of his employees.
As someone that has been operating his own business for nearly 40 years, Smith has had quite a few experiences with bad workers. While he is willing to give anyone a second or third chance, there have been times when he had to give up and let someone go.
"I think my favorite statement is, 'We've decided we're going to go in a different direction,'" Smith told Benzinga. "Prior to this show…our policy has always been three strikes, you're out. [We] probably wouldn't let anybody go unless they've been warned at least two prior times for the incident in which [we're] letting them go."
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
© 2014 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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Announce That There's a Problem
Before pointing the Donald Trump finger at underperforming employees, let them know that they must improve their performance or face termination.
"If it's a situation of bad performance that you've [told them about] at least twice before, you've given them an opportunity to increase their performance and they failed to do so…" Smith told Benzinga. "Typically that's how we do it. Before we would let someone go, we'd give at least two prior warnings for what we're citing as the reason."Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Re-Evaluate the Employee's Performance
Take a second look at the employee's performance. Is he or she really that bad?
"If you own a business, you've got a mission that you want accomplished by an individual," Smith told Benzinga. "Are they getting the job done, first and foremost?
"Are they getting the job done in the manner that you want it done? Sometimes there's what management wants and then there's what you get. That's probably my biggest challenge as CEO -- getting out of a person what I actually expect them to do."Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Value vs. Performance
If the employee in question is performing well, he or she could still suffer in the area of delivering value.
"I think value versus performance is going to be second," said Smith. "Is [the employee] cost-effective?"Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Team Player or Team Destroyer?
Even if the employee performs well and is cost-effective, he or she may suffer by failing to be a team player.
"Are they impeding the rest of the staff from getting their part of the business done?" Smith questioned. "It's like a football team. A football team doesn't necessarily have all the best players -- they just have a group of people that plays well together. Being a team player is probably critical."Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Reliability vs. Liability
When Company A needs Employees X, Y and Z to get the job done, do they deliver?
"Have they let you down when you need them the most?" Smith questioned. "Sometimes you get people that are always figuring out reasons to not be at work. That can be a problem."Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Approach With Caution
"I think that as an employer, you really have to be careful how you terminate someone," Smith warned. "We typically would advise people to do an exit interview. You want to make sure that at least one other manager or assistant manager is present.
"I think you want to, obviously, if the person asks why they're being terminated, you need to explain what the problem is."Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Don't Be Afraid to Make a Tough Call
"In some cases it's all over the board and you just simply say, 'Look, it's not working for us or it's not working for you and we decided we're gonna go a different direction,'" said Smith.Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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Relax -- Most People Know the End is Near…
"Most people know it's coming," said Smith. "Most people that I've had to terminate, when they walk in the door and sit down, they know what's happening and take it very graciously and move on."Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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…But Not Everyone Will See it Coming
"I've had every experience," said Smith. "I've had some people that were like a deer in headlights, just completely, 'What, I'm getting fired!?'
"I've had people that have thrown tantrums. I've had people that got involved with litigation post their leaving the company. Pretty much seen it all."Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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No Matter What Happens, Don't Burn a Bridge
"I think people can learn from their mistakes and I think employers need to be aware of that as well," said Smith. "A lot of times employers and other people in the industry that I know, when they let someone go, they go from being the employer to the enemy.
"I don't believe you want to burn any bridges with employees. You just get to a point where you just can't put up with them anymore and sometimes maybe that's what they need -- a sabbatical away from the company. I've always prided myself on doing what I say, and a lot of times people want you to do more than you say.
"I'm pretty proud of the fact that at True Home Value we've always done what we say. We don't do more, but we don't do less. I think in today's world that's a good thing."Image Source: Wikimedia Commons