How to avoid firing people?

How to avoid firing people?

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This is usually one of the hardest decisions someone has to make in their career.  Should a person stay or go.  This decision also should not be made lightly, and there are a few factors to consider.

What are the reasons? If it is due to a downturn in business, the decision may be one of financial survival.  If it is due to losing a major customer, how long can you wait with extra employees until a new customer has signed on? Again, a financial decision. While we can’t always help you with these your Accountant or Financial advisor can.

If the reason is due to a mismatch – we can help you figure this out.  By a mismatch I mean either the person has the wrong skills for the position or the position has changed. 

The wrong skills for the position comes down to the interview process.  If you understand what the position’s duties, responsibilities, outcomes, and skills required – these can be uncovered in the interview process.  This is sometimes easier said than done because most human being have a tendency to hire based on who they like and not always based on the position requirements.  This is even more prevalent with small business owners – mostly because they may not be sure how to interview.  They started their business based on their knowledge not on hiring people. 

If the hiring decision has been made then it is about what can you do to keep this person and what goals do they have to achieve in order to stay. This will require more work on your part and you will also have to know when the effort outweighs the results. In other words, you are putting in lots of effort but not seeing as many results – how long can you have this person? Only you can answer that question.

If the position has changed, what can you do to assist the person in this new role?  Is it training? Mentoring? or something else all together? Again, a decision will have to be made on effort vs. results.

The best way to avoid firing people is to make sure you understand what you need to hire.  It is better to take the extra time and review what you need in that position.  Write out all the duties, responsibilities and results needed.  Is it realistic for one person to have all these? Are there some that are a “must have” vs a “nice to have”?

Just as a firing decision takes thought so does a hiring decision.  Do it right the first time and you won’t have to worry about firing unless it is for economic reason.