Pardon me while I pluck a few nerves.
Do you believe the customer is always right? Well, as many companies now view employees as “internal” customers, if you believe the customer is always right, then by rationale, the employee must always be right. Right? If you believe this to be
true, there would be no excuse for ever terminating an employee.
Now that I got you fired up a bit, allow me to explain myself.
FACT #1: Every company makes bad hires
Bad hires are most commonly a result of:
Bad hiring, screening, and onboarding practices. This is an employer problem, and one within the employer’s control to fix. In the absence of due diligence, you’ll make bad hires. It’s unavoidable. However, good hires go bad when improperly onboarded, poorly trained, or subjected to incompetent leadership. Agreed?
Being forced to hire the “best of the worst” applicants to fill a critical role. Here’s where I’m going to pluck another nerve – this is an employer choice. However, with the severe shortage of skilled labor, many employers are backed into a corner and thus don’t have a choice. If you struggle to find quality applicants, could it be a poor employer reputation? Unhealthy or dysfunctional culture? Lack of owning a compelling employer value proposition? Do you invest the same level of effort in finding new employees that you do in finding new customers?
Applicants exaggerating their credentials and qualifications to land a job. The fact is that there are plenty of slick applicants out there who are great interviewees and have a knack for being very convincing. Sometimes it can be close to impossible to detect deception on an application or résumé. (Check out these alarming statistics.)
In the best of scenarios, a bad hire or a mediocre employee will dial up their game and perhaps even thrive within a nurturing culture of strong leadership, training and mentoring.
In others, a breakup is inevitable, either through
resignation or termination.
From the perspectives of your employees, if you make a bad hire and it doesn’t work out, it’s your fault. If you made a good hire and it doesn’t work out, they will have opinions about what you did wrong that led to his or her departure.
Plus, if you wait too long to terminate an employee who isn’t pulling his or her own weight because you dread facing the reality that it may take weeks or months to find a replacement, your better-performing employees will become frustrated with your soft leadership.
You can’t win.
Or can you?
You can. Read on.
FACT #2: As an employer, you will be judged on how you handle the termination, regardless of who you believe is “right” and who is “wrong.”
Depending on the circumstances of the termination, employees will take sides, without full knowledge and understanding of the details.
But that doesn’t matter.
As the leader, you’ll need to take the high road by properly offboarding – helping the employee transition out of your company and into another. This would most easily be done by offering career transition assistance such as providing vouchers for career-coaching services, or paying a small fee for him or her to attend a professional development workshop.
Ending your relationship on a helpful note will help to minimize the chances of the employee posting negative reviews about your company, tarnishing your employer brand and reputation.
And your other employees with have a much higher opinion of you, which will boost morale even though you’re back to square one – looking for another employee.
Your brand is all you have. Protect it the best you can because even when the customer is wrong, in the end, the customer is right.
Of course, if you would like assistance in creating an offboarding process for your company, let’s connect.