Human Resources

How To Properly Terminate An Employee – Blog Series Pt.3

Hey Compliance Warriors!

Part 3 of our continuing series is Section 2 of Employees Who Should Be Terminated. In this part, we will give some additional examples of conduct that’s unbecoming of an employee.

“It’s not what you pay a man,
but what he costs you that counts.”
   -Will Rogers

Part Three: Employees Who Should Be Terminated – Section II
   Sometimes it can be hard for a manager to admit when it is time to let an employee go from the company.  It is important to recognize various behaviors and ‘red flags’ that an employee may display when that are not performing well with the rest of the group.  But after several unsuccessful opportunities for improvement, the manager must realize what needs to be done for the greater outcome of the team.

Blatant Disregard for Customers
   Whether your company is large or small, customers are the main component that keeps the business open and working.  In the business world, it is said that customers are hard to gain but can be easy to lose.  Employees that do not share this belief will soon show in their blatant disregard for the customer and the customer’s needs.  While the employee may work with the customer for a short period of time, they will not engage with the customer, take concern with their needs, nor will they do what they can to keep the customer satisfied.  The employee will most likely avoid or even ignore customers, pass them off to co-workers, or simply refuse to help when asked.  Other employees can begin to pick up on this sense of disregard and come to believe it is acceptable behavior.  Therefore, this employee must be terminated from the team – not only to improve employee conditions in the office, but to also gain and keep customers with the company.

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They Are Unreliable
   A manager must be able to depend on their employees when needed.  A manager must be able to trust that an employee is able to complete their job responsibilities with little supervision and without having to ‘micro-manage’ them.  However, when employees become unreliable, they fail to contribute and become a poor asset to the team in general.  Employees can become unreliable for a number of reasons, such as failing to show up for work, refusing to pitch in or complete their daily work tasks, or being unwilling to help and work with co-workers.  Many managers will offer the employee several chances to correct the behavior, such as giving warnings or some sort of demerit.  However, if the behavior does not change and the employee remains unreliable to the manager, they will need to be terminated from the team and the company.

Don’t Adhere to Code of Conduct
   Every company has some form of conduct policy, which defines how employees should act among each other and with customers and guests.  Having an employee code of conduct not only helps protect the company, but it ensures that the employees know what is expected of them as an employee of the company, by outlining expectations and acceptable behaviors.  It is important to uphold this code of conduct for all employees of the company, from the entry level employee all the way to the CEO.  If an employee decides that this code of conduct does not apply to them, for whatever reason, they can begin to act out of line by being rude, malicious or even disrespectful to their co-workers and customers.  Their actions can influence other employees to follow suit, causing not only poor employee morale, but also poor customer service, so it is important that these employees should be removed from the company.

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Use Company Property for Personal Use
   When employees are at work, it is expected that there may be some personal use of the company equipment, such as using the desk phone to make a call or using the company printer to print some personal documents.  But, when the use of company equipment becomes excessive, it puts a strain on the company and takes away the use of this equipment for business purposes.  When employees excessively use company equipment for their own use, it causes the equipment to malfunction sooner, takes away from employee productivity, and can cause a liability when the equipment breaks.  Every company should have some sort of policy that addresses the excessive use of company equipment. If an employee ignores this policy and continues to use the telephone to make their own calls, use the copier to copy their own flyers or even use the internet to access social media, then they are becoming a hazard to the team and to the company.  If he/she does not cease their actions after being addressed by management, then they must be terminated.

Practical Illustration
   Alex has held a meeting with one of his workers, Karen.  When she came into his office, Karen noticed Alex also had Helen in the room, one of the representatives from human resources.  Alex started the meeting by greeting Karen and thanking her for coming in today.  He then jumped to the reason he called her in.  He explained to Karen that he has noticed Karen using more and more of the company’s property for her own personal use, such as making personal calls and playing games on the internet.  Alex also told her that she had become very negligent to the company’s code of conduct.  He has had complaints that she has been rude and disrespectful to other employees.  Karen tried to interrupt and defend herself, but Alex stopped her.  Alex reminded her of an earlier meeting they had about this issue, and pointed out that Karen has failed to correct them.

“I’m sorry, Karen,” Alex said.  “But we have to let you go from the company.”

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Lisa Smith is CEO of Andere Corporation and Chief Content Developer at HelpDeskSuites.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, listen to her Small Business Spoonfuls Podcast, and find more in her Compliance Warriors Facebook Group.


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