When and How to Part Ways with an Employee | NPI Franchise Blog


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When and How to Part Ways with an Employee

 May 25, 2021 |  Business Tips, Franchise |  entrepreneur, small business

By David Stamper, NPI, Inc.'s President & CFO

As a business owner, you’ll be faced with making tough calls almost every day. Perhaps one of the most challenging of these is having to let an employee go. It’s difficult, and oftentimes uncomfortable to deal with, but it’s a choice that you’re forced to make for the betterment of your business. There could be any number of reasons you have to let someone go from quality of work to personal problems. So how should you go about parting ways with an employee?

Before you make a final decision, you should review the employee’s past work and reports. You can also refer to any comments from other employees and even customers to hear secondary opinions and identify any common problems. You might find that the issues started recently and aren’t an overall indicator of their temperament or their work performance. If you find that work has only been slipping recently, it might be more appropriate to speak with an employee directly. There could be some underlying personal issue that’s impacting their work. It’s always best to get your facts straight and then take the next step.

Collect Relevant Documents
To protect yourself legally and clearly lay out your decision, have everything in writing for your and your employee’s records. A few items that are good to have on hand are: 

  • Employee handbook 
  • Company termination policy 
  • Performance reviews 
  • Records from any previous meetings 
  • Comments from others 

These should all be as accurate and well-defined as possible, and free from any personal feelings towards the employee.

During the Meeting
As you conduct your termination meeting, it can be hard to keep emotions at bay. Especially if the employee has been with you for a long time, you might find yourself struggling to stay in your manager role. Staying on topic and focused will help reduce any anxiety you have. It might also be beneficial to have another party attend the meeting to act as buffer. They can also help provide another account of what all went on by taking notes. Leading up to the day of your meeting, get your affairs in order and run through what you’re going to discuss to relieve stress.

Moving Forward
Once you have gone through the termination process, you should have a meeting with the rest of your team. It’s good to let them know when you let the employee go and the reasoning. Be sure to give as clear of a reason as you can. If you leave things up in the air, it could cause some confusion among others. Try to be as courteous as possible towards the former employee by helping them transition out of the office into their new career.

Having to let someone go is undeniably difficult, but not addressing the situation can be tougher. Letting the problem linger on can lead to more difficulty parting ways or compound existing problems. Owning a smaller business, there may be more of an emotional connection, and you may have even developed a friendship with the employee. However, it’s important to be as professional and to-the-point as possible and treat the whole situation as a learning experience for all involved. You can only grow personally and professionally from here!

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