What's one of the hardest tasks in business today? It's not starting a business. It's not raising money. It's not even making a profit. According to The Wall Street Journal, it's firing an employee.
If someone doesn't fit into an organization, they hurt both themselves and the organization. If you put on a shoe that didn't fit, would you still wear it? Obviously the answer is no, but when people don't fit into an organization, it's often easier to pretend the problem doesn't exist.
However, pretending won't make the problem go away. You either deal with the problem now or you wait for the problem to get worse much later. Which do you think is the smarter solution?
The best way to avoid firing someone is to hire the right person in the first place. From the beginning, work and coach each new employee so you and that person know how they can reach their goals, dreams, hopes and vision by working at your company.
When people understand how they can benefit by helping the company benefit, everyone wins. Unfortunately, sometimes we do hire the wrong person and sometimes the right person changes goals so they no longer fit in the company.
Firing may seem like an extreme action – and it can be. If an employee is chronically late, does sloppy work, is dishonest, refuses to be a team player, or demonstrates general contempt or disregard for the job or company, it’s time to cut ties.
Sometimes, however, the person just doesn’t work out. And despite efforts to remedy the situation, firing becomes the best option.
But firing should always create a better situation for both parties.
First, look to see if there is a position that would be a better fit within the current organization. If that's not possible, then help that person find a position elsewhere. The goal is to satisfy and improve both your company and the fired employee. When you can make the fired employee see greater opportunities, you'll realize that firing doesn't have to be painful for anyone.
In fact, firing can be the best thing you can do for your organization and for your employees. Think of firing as a way for everyone to move on to a better future. And who doesn't want a brighter future for themselves?
James Whitaker, the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest, said: “You don't really conquer such a mountain. You conquer yourself.”
Whitaker was a relentless trainer. He tried to anticipate every challenge, emotional and physical. Obstacles came at him right and left: avalanches, dehydration, hypothermia, oxygen shortage at 29,000 feet and the fatigue it caused. “You overcome the sickness and everything else – your pain, aches, fears – to reach the summit.”
To reach your destination, achievers like Whitaker focus on the road rather than the bumps in it:
Mackay's Moral: Some people rebound from a firing setback because they are destined to. Most people rebound because they are determined to.