Have you ever fired someone? If so, why?
I was 29 years old and promoted to manager of a small technical department with engineers and technicians (perhaps 10 total).
“Jerry” was a technician, very inquisitive
, and often working outside the box - I liked him and felt he did a good job for the company.
But his “outside the box” activities included criticizing corporate policies, from pay scales to benefits and many others, often writing letters to the CEO.
Jerry left, quite depressed and never worked again.
I have fired multiple people from various positions at different companies.
I have only fired people for one reason. They didn’t care about doing the job well.
I can teach you the skills. I can show you how to do it. I can answer your questions and coach you through the hurdles
of the job.
If you’re really trying, and asking questions, and putting in the work - I will give everything I have to help you succeed.
I can’t teach you how to care.
Now I interview for someone who wants to do well, not someone who has already done it.
This has worked much better.
My heart was beating a million beats a minute when it came time to let Richard (not his real name) go.
I had inherited Richard from my predecessor
, and there was no question I was doing the right thing for the company.
Richard was really struggling, and he couldn’t get anything done, and, worse yet, he was in a customer-facing role, and he was in no way a good representative of the company.
Letting Richard go was the right thing to do, but I dreaded
Richard had some interpersonal issues. In fact his interpersonal skills were horrible.
But Richard is a human being. He has a wife. He has kids. He has a mortgage to pay.
And, I was about to turn his world upside down.
I felt relieved and horrible at the same time. I was relieved that letting Richard go was over.
I felt horrible because I knew his world had been turned upside down.
I think I’ve fired three people in my professional life. Two were tough to fire, while the other was rather fun. This was when I owned a coffeehouse.
The first was the toughest. I’d brought him on board to be my assistant manager at the very beginning and the day before we opened, or maybe the day we opened… I had to let him go because he was just too rigid
. He wouldn’t take direction or bend on anything. He was always right. I’d had high hopes for him too because he had some good experience being a restaurant manager.
The second was tough too because I really liked this woman (professionally speaking), but she was just flakey
. It was a second job for her and as time went on, she would frequently show up late and didn’t seem to take the job seriously. I put up with it for a while because at the beginning she usually did a good job and was fun to work with most of the time.
The third one was satisfying… this kid was a college student who’d been working for me for a few months at this point. He was an average employee and did his job alright. The problem was that we’d been contacted by ASCAP a couple of times. That’s the organization that enforces copyrights on music. The woman gave off an arrogant vibe like she knew exactly what we were doing with music.
After her first visit, I switched to only playing the radio. I instructed the staff that we could no longer play our own music from our iPods or CDs because of copyright laws. Everyone complied. Well, except for this one guy.
When I was around, it wasn’t an issue, but when I wasn’t, he’d play his iPod. I reiterated to him privately that it was no longer OK and why. He understood. It happened a second time and I had another conversation with him about it. I went into a little more detail this time explaining that we could be sued or forced to pay the ASCAP fee.
Well, the final straw came. During a trip, when I was checking in with my manager, she told me this guy was playing his music and she’d told him not to. He continued doing it. I was incredulous
. This was not a stupid kid… he was a college student at a pretty good school.
I returned a few days later. As soon as he came in, I brought him in the back and fired him. It was fun to fire him because this little boy just refused to listen even after I gave him several chances.
Yes several. First of all, firing someone is not the best experience a manager would have in life.
So most people I know are trying to keep it at a minimum, but it is inevitable
to fire some people in your career, as it is a natural part of business environment.
Most people I fired was either under performers or wrongly placed people regarding their talents, with no hope or sign for development.
A few people I fired, was disciplinary problems, like habitually late to work, problematic intercommunications with co-workers etc.
I unfortunately fired one person from a company due to mismanagement of our general manager, under his orders …
It was a sad story, but in short, in order to protect several people, you might be forced to fire one or two.
As an HR head, I have fired several employees.
I still find firing employees a difficult job.
Most of the times employees are fired because of their attitude rather than their performance.
Performance can be improved. However, it is extremely difficult to change someone’s attitude.
At times employees are fired for political reasons.
It is sad but it happens.