The Do’s & Don’t to Firing Reckless Employees

Firing an employee is one of the hardest things that a business owner or manager must face. This task can become even more difficult if the employee is reckless and has no regard for the company, those in authority, or his or her co-workers. For this reason, it is very important to handle this delicate process as professionally and discretely as possible. Listed below are a few of dos and don’ts to follow when terminating a reckless employee.

Do Meet Face-to-Face
Although is may be tempting to fire a reckless employee over the phone or via email to avoid a confrontation, it is highly inappropriate and can cause trouble for you and the business down the road. By handling the termination face-to-face, the employee may also be less likely to retaliate.

Don’t Fire a Reckless Employee Without Warning
Feeling blindsided can also cause the employee to feel the need to retaliate. The employee should be reprimanded and the warnings should be well documented at least twice before the termination occurs.

Do Have a Witness When Terminating the Employee
Be sure that you have at least one witness with you when terminating the (or any) employee. By doing so, you are protecting yourself from any lawsuits that the employee may try to file on claims of alleged abuse or discrimination.

Don’t give a long, Drawn out Explanation for the Termination
The less you say, the better. Explain that the company will no longer be needing the services of the employee and always base the firing on poor performance reasons only. All personal feelings and comments about the employee should not be stated.

Do Document the Meeting
All discussion in the termination meeting should be well-documented. Again, doing so will aid in protecting yourself and the company from any allegations or lawsuits down the road.

Do be clear that the Employee is Terminated
Some employees may have a hard time accepting that they have been fired. You want to make it clear to the individual that the termination is final and there is no way to change your decision. While you must approach the employee with concern, kindness, and respect, you must also be very straightforward and firm. State at the very beginning of the discussion that the meeting is being held to inform him or her of the termination, so that he or she will in no way feel misled.

Do Escort the Terminated Employee to the Door
Once the termination is complete, you should walk the employee to the nearest exit. This keeps them from accessing any part of the business property, business information, and from communicating with other employees. This action will protect not only the business and the employees, but can aid the terminated employee from being unfairly accused of any wrongdoing, such as in the event that money or items become missing after the firing.

Do Ensure that all Security Areas are Covered once the Employee has been Terminated
All computer passwords and door locks should be changed immediately after the employee has left the premises. Even if the terminated employee did not appear upset upon exiting, all management should be on high alert for at least a few days following the termination, to ensure the physical safety of all employees and visitors of the business.

Having a reckless employee is a liability to your business. For this reason, the termination of the irresponsible employee should be carried out as swiftly as possible. Meet with the employee, and keep this list of do’s and don’ts in mind when carrying out the termination. By doing so, you will be helping to ensure the security and well-being of the company and all those involved.