We've all had to deal with it at some point. There's a bad worker in your company that's driving everyone crazy. Maybe it's the all-too-often personal days, the drama they spend half their shift creating, the bad attitude towards producing quality work or the catty attitude that annoys everyone they come in contact with. But we're always worried about lawsuits, unemployment and actions the employee can take when fired. Worry no more - here's the fine art of firing a bad employee.
When it comes to getting rid of a problem worker, you need to keep a few things in mind: alternatives, accountability and access. Here's why:
Alternatives to Firing
If you've seen a change with an employee who has otherwise worked very well for your company, have you found out why? Take them out to lunch and ask about how things have been going for them. If they've had a lot of absences, maybe they've been going for medical tests on a serious condition they didn't want to bring up. If they've had a bad attitude, maybe it's the new grandchild with the boomerang daughter keeping them up all night. Just knowing there's someone to talk to and being able to work out alternatives can help you regain an amazing employee.
Whatever steps you take, document them accurately. Did you offer training? Were they reprimanded for bad practices? How many times were they late or absent? Were they unwilling to sign a written warning? Were they suspended or put on a probationary period? This information is vital if the employee is terminated for a valid cause and tries to pursue unemployment or legal action regardless.
With today's cloud-based systems, it's vital that access for that employee be stopped as soon as they step into HR for termination. Whether it's an accounting system, mobile app access or social media pages, leaving access open following a termination can be a recipe for disaster. If the employee is resentful of losing their position, they can cause serious problems. You'll also want to limit access to physical locations and important paperwork. A tech company executive I know once walked in on the terminated accountant burning their tax and withholding paperwork, a mess that took several months to straighten out.By keeping these tips in mind, you'll be done with your problem employee in no time and back on track to a productive workplace. Make sure you document your actions for any potential problems just in case they're needed.