This is a guest post contributed by Ling.
Most people, maybe even you, think being a boss is awesome.
I mean, you get to boss people around, sit back and relax one corner while you tell your
minion employee to do the work.
But trust me, being a boss isn’t as awesome as you think.
The most difficult part of any employer’s job is to tell a subordinate that he is no longer needed by the company.
In other words, you’re fired.
It’s even tougher when the guy you’re firing is the sole breadwinner of the family or supporting a low-income family.
It may also affect the morale of the team and make other employees worry about their own job security.
And worst of all, you might be accused of unfairly terminating someone if you screw up the termination process.
Some Guidelines When You Decide to Terminate Someone on Your Team
Think of terminating someone as a last resort thing—like the guard duty rifle firing SOP. First, you fire at the sky, then the ground, then the knees, etc.
Terminating someone is like shooting him. You do it only when you bo bian.
And it isn’t as simple as telling someone, “you’re fired. Go pack your box and go home.”
It should be the “last resort” in a careful, thoughtful, fair and transparent process that started way before the actual firing.
That means he has to know he’s on thin ice.
If it’s due to poor performance, there should be a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) in place to help the employee work on areas of improvement. Give chance mah.
HR practitioners in both the public and private sector shared that there is usually some sort of a yearly performance review for all employees.
Employees who fail to meet performance requirements will be put on a PIP.
The supervisor will then monitor the staff’s performance closely during the PIP period and provide guidance and feedback on areas that need improvement.
The PIP period can even be extended if the staff requires more time to meet the performance standard of the job. Eventually, if the staff still fails to perform, he or she will then be terminated.
Being an SME isn’t an excuse
Saying “I don’t know” isn’t enough. MOM will still come after you if you’re accused of anyhow firing people.
For startups that do not have a proper HR function within the company, the PIP can be simplified to suit the needs of the company.
As long as you informed the employee beforehand, think feedback or even a written notice, you’re safe. It’s not fair to just tell them to leave the company without even telling them to clean up their act.
Make sure that you talk about the process and reasoning of the dismissal with the rest of the team as they might feel that their rice bowl is threatened as well.
If not, they might just start looking for other jobs and jump. Shoot the robber before he shoots you mah.
If things do not work out between the employer and employee, it’s best for both parties to separate amicably and move on to greener pastures.
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