Being your own boss and calling the shots is the fuel that drives every entrepreneur. And if all goes according to your business plan, you'll be someone else's boss too. That means making tough leadership decisions like having to fire someone. Here are 12 steps to take if cutting an employee loose will improve the bottom line:
Did you express yourself?
Before you fire someone, ask if you were clear about what you wanted. If you can't articulate what is needed to do a job, then you're setting up the employee to fail. "The key is the manager has to give them clear expectations of what success looks like," says Dave Jennings, a leadership coach and author of Catapulted: How Great Leaders Succeed Beyond their Experience (Morgan James Publishing). "I had a VP call me and say he wanted to fire his secretary. I said, 'Tell me, what expectations did you set up for your secretary?' He said, 'She should just know.' "
Did you do all that you could?
Once expectations have been defined, you need to see if your employee has the resources necessary to meet them. Does he have the right equipment? Who does he need to be in touch with? Can he see the results of his performance? If he does a good job, are you punishing him by loading him up with more work? Does he have the right abilities? What will motivate him?Follow the paper trail
If the path to success has been well lit and the employee continues to backslide or be unmotivated, verbal warnings need to be followed up with written ones that spotlight how she is not meeting expectations. Raise the specter of termination only when you're ready to pull the plug.