Nothing is more commonplace, yet more difficult, than the task of firing an employee. For whatever the reason- whether it be incompetence, cutbacks, lack of skills, poor attitude or just the realization that the nicest, hardest working person in the world is not cut out for the profession that occasionally feels like hell- termination of a one time staff member is not easy.
However, if you follow a procedure and process, it may not become emotionally easier but will, in the long run; alleviate much of the aggravation that goes hand in hand with the role of the culinary terminator.
I was having a conversation with a fellow restaurant owner last week and he told me that he had some problems with the place he had owned for 15 years. He recently hired a new chef and he wasn’t working out very well. When the new chef was promoted to kitchen manager, things only got worse as the under qualified person was in control of two positions.
After a few weeks the company realized that the new chef/kitchen manager was not going to work out and needed to be replaced. When they brought him into the dining room to tell him of their decision he went off the deep end. He began yelling, and even went to the point of running into the kitchen. Alas, before he got to his destination he hit his head, fell down and had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The outcome wasn’t too disastrous but it could have been as the owner did not have a workmen’s compensation policy in effect.
Here are ten tips on terminating an employee:
1). Make sure that you have weighed the decision completely and that the termination is the best thing for yourself, the company and other staff members.
2). Is the timing right? Will the employee’s absence put an undue strain on the other members of the team?
3). What are the grounds for termination? Outline these so that you can provide a reason to the employee in order to make the transition clean and that you state your case factually.
4). Are your ducks in a row? In today’s environment many employees look for any little loophole to go to wage and labor or your H.R. department with. Make sure that everything was done in a professional manner.
5). Terminated or laid-off. Often economic times call for situations that nobody enjoys. If you are pleased with an employee’s performance but just cannot afford that person make sure that the reason for leaving your employment is due to being laid-off rather than termination.
6). Exit interviews go a long way to smooth over any hard feelings. Make sure that you have an exit interview form ready when you have the termination meeting. Ask the employee how they feel about your company, you or management style and they way your staff interacts. It gives the employee time to vent and it is better they tell you as it makes them feel they don’t have to tell everyone else.
7). Keep emotion out of the process. We have all wanted to rant and rave when firing that one aggravating individual. Try to keep those emotions to yourself. Remain calm and collected. Keep those thoughts and feelings to yourself. You will feel better about the firing if you do.
8). Use a private space to break the news. Nothing does more damage to an already damaged situation than to fire someone in earshot of other employees.
9). Make sure the paperwork is finalized and the last check is processed before you sit down to terminate the individual.
10). It is imperative that another manager, a shift supervisor or another employee with authority be present at the termination meeting. This person can back up your statement if the process goes any further.