Inevitably, there will come a time in your business where you have to let someone go. Even though this is not fun to talk about, it’s important to be prepared and know what to do when you must deal with the firing process.
As you grow your business, you will likely have a bad hire or a mis-hire. Or, you might find that you don’t need a position anymore; perhaps you aren’t getting ROI from this role. Today we are talking about having that breakup conversation, and exactly what to do when it’s just not working out. We’ll talk about what to do before, during, and after the firing decision.
I want to remind you that I have training on this very topic called Hiring Simplified. This training will help you take the emotion out of the process and methodically choose the best people. It’s full of project plans, templates, scripts and much more, so you can hire smart and avoid having this breakup in the first place.
Before you go all in and fire this asset, you need to evaluate this person in a few areas. And you also want to make sure you are prepared when you go into the firing call with the person.
You will need to figure out what isn’t working. If you have those Key Results Areas (KRAs) in place, you can leverage them for this discussion. Understand and articulate what’s not working, and how this performance is hurting your business. Take emotion out of it and use the data provided by the KRAs. This will help the person understand your decision.
If you don’t have KRAs in place, take some time to make this factual, and communicate clearly. Use the Reflection Template:
- Reflect on what is working (wins)
- Reflect on what is not working (opportunities)
- Reflect on what is missing
- Reflect on what is confusing
Think about how these relate to the relationship and the role. You just need to look at how this person is performing in your business.
You’ll want to capture what is not working in regards to behavior. Using the Reflection Framework, expand and be specific with your examples. Is their performance lacking? Is it their behavior? Is it simply a cultural misfit?
This will take time but it will help you understand why it doesn’t feel right. Note your pet peeves and behaviors that rub you the wrong way. This will help you have a better conversation with the team member and if you record the notes, it will ensure that you don’t make the same hiring mistake again.
At this point you may have noticed something about your company culture that you didn’t screen for before hiring this person. How did this person mesh with your business? Did they reflect the values of your brand? You may see something about your culture that emerges, that you didn’t before. Moving forward, make sure you incorporate this into all future job descriptions.
4. Note Accomplishments
What are the advancements you’ve made together? If there is a direct reflection of their work, let them know that their value has been appreciated. Otherwise just articulate how they have helped you advance in your business.
5. Create Talking Points For the Notification Call
You are the leader of the business, so you need to set the intention for this call; know what to do and feel certain in it. This may be an emotional process, so take some time to create a script so you can focus.
- State the reason. If it’s a performance issue, include examples. If you have KRAs bring them up.
- Share wins you’ve celebrated while in partnership together.
- State the last day they will be working.
- Discuss the expectations for wrapping up. What needs to be finished or documented?
- Verbalize the last date of payment.
- Let them know if you will have a professional recommendation for them.
- Set the date of the call.
During The Firing Call
This will likely be emotional for both parties. Don’t make small talk. You need to deliver a planned message, and keep it short. This is an opportunity to show up as a leader and own the integrity of your brand. Deliver your message without a ton of emotion.
Ask for feedback from them so you can continuously improve. If it is amicable, you can ask during the conversation. However, if they are taken by surprise don’t ask yet; they will not be able to give you quality feedback when they feel like a failure or are in a state of defeat.
After The Call
Fight the urge to hide and don’t feel bad; this is about your leadership in your business.
Once you’ve got the logistics ironed out, touch base with the person and give them a written recap in voxer or email.
- Start with appreciation
- Follow up with next steps
- Restate the expectations for off-boarding
- Determine if you need their attendance on future calls
- Decide when you will share updates with other team members
- Gather any tax forms
- Celebrate accomplishments
Revisit your notes and decide if you still need to hire for the same role. Look at your existing team: have their skill sets evolved? Have your needs changed? What roles do you really need to get you to your 1-2 year vision?
“Pause and reflect before you make another reactionary hire.”
You will get better at hiring each time you do it because you know what you are looking for.
If you’re new to this and it all seems daunting to you, I can help! This is my zone of genius! Simply fill out this form and I can help you understand what you need.
Weekly Ops Activity
Use the Reflection Framework to note what’s working, not working, missing, and confusing. Look at this as it relates to your team, or your business model, and share it in The Ops Insiders Facebook Group.
Previous Episodes Mentioned
Join the Ops Insiders Facebook Community: