Is it Time to Issue that Pink Slip?


The countdown to the New Year is under way, but are you still debating about what to do with that office cancer, you know, the employee who is causing more issues than they are worth?

For many employers, the decisions to let someone go is not always as cut and dry as it may seem to be. There are oftentimes a number of factors that go into such a decision, among which are:

• How will the dismissal of the employee impact the rest of the office staff?
• Have we tried all options to make this situation better before we pull the plug on the individual?
• Do we want to get the image of a revolving door company if we start getting rid of employees when there are other options?
• What exactly is the problem with this particular employee? Is it a work-related matter or something outside the office in their personal life that they are continuously bringing to work?
• What will the firing do in regards to any potential repercussions from the employee as far as negative press towards the company?

As you can see, pulling the plug on an employee is not always as simple as some may think.

Having worked in the business arena for 22 years now, I have seen tons of employees come and go in a number of jobs in two-plus decades. Oftentimes, those who were dismissed were more for financial reasons as opposed to work-site performance.

I found myself in this situation some six years ago when I was laid off after spending five-and-a-half years with one employer. Much to my chagrin, the employer let me go via an email and not face-to-face.

Now imagine the consternation many employers feel when employees just up and leave a job without two weeks’ notice. Should employers return the favor and let those employees they plan to remove either via firing or layoff be given such a notice?

In an ideal world, the answer would be yes. In the real world, however, we know that is oftentimes not the case.

If you find yourself in such a position going into the New Year, think about why you are planning to remove this employee, how it will impact your office and what possible repercussions may occur from a human resources stand point.

Letting someone go is usually never easy; sometimes it is just unavoidable.

As an employer, what do you find to be the toughest things about letting an employee go?


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