It takes a great deal of self-discipline and integrity to fire a relative or close friend of your own, or your boss

It takes a great deal of self-discipline and integrity to fire a relative or close friend of your own, or your boss. I fired the son of a station manager and the stepdaughter of my own boss. This didn’t make us better friends, but it was necessary. The other workers respected my commitment to hiring and keeping the best workers, and not just those I felt obligated to.

Firing someone is one of the most difficult tasks a manager has to do. The first time I fired someone I felt as if I was taking everything from him, even though it was his attendance and work habits that were the true reasons. Although he was just a temporary worker, there were so few jobs available in the area that I felt wrong. It was my responsibility to fire him because he was not filling the requirements of his position. If you are going to have a productive, healthy work environment, you have to be careful whom you hire, keep, and fire. Keeping this man would have been the wrong message and undermined my efforts to create the most productive employees possible.

Firing should never become personal. If someone fails to fulfill his or her required duties, he or she deserves termination. They did it, not you. Done properly, the firing shouldn’t come as a surprise to any employee. If you’ve done your job well, he or she knows what your expectations are and what they need to do to stay employed. They should get proper training as needed and periodic reviews. If they are receiving reviews that let them know they are failing portions of their job, then continue to do so it shouldn’t be a surprise to them to be let go. The truth is they are not the right fit, and you’re doing both of you a favor by getting rid of them.

Note: don’t say anything positive about the employee when you’re firing him or her, as it will increase your chance of a lawsuit and losing the suit.

Each Christmas we hired temporary employees to help with the additional influx of mail. Based on their performance, we hired some of them for work after Christmas. My boss’s stepdaughter was hired and turned out to be just awful. She was consistently late or absent, and had a bad attitude when she did work. During the post evaluations, I knew I didn’t want her back and couldn’t recommend her for future career opportunities. Wondering how my boss would feel about it, I approached him and told him that I couldn’t report anything positive about his stepdaughter. I told him he could have another supervisor do it if he wanted, but if left to me, I wouldn’t recommend her as a rehire. He paused for a moment then said, “Do what you have to do.” I did.

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