When you have decided that it’s time to let go of someone, don’t rush the decision. Otherwise, you could land yourself and your organization in legal trouble. Follow these steps:
1. Build your case. Don’t make a snap judgment based on one or two instances. Instead, ensure that you have documented all performance and behavioral issues. Review the employee’s file carefully to make sure that the firing is justified.
2. Ensure that the employee had a chance to succeed. Have you discussed the performance issues with the employee and offered coaching to turn things around? If not, start there.
3. Talk it out with an advisor. Consult your boss, HR or your company’s legal counsel. Ask for feedback, go over policies and outline your next steps. If after those steps, you still believe you must terminate an employee, move forward with the process.
— Adapted from “The 4 Essential Steps to Firing Employees with Minimal Drama,” Terry Sheridan, www.accountingweb.com