Firing someone is usually a terrible feeling. It feels terrible even if the person has been warned repeatedly and had every chance to improve. It’s someone’s livelihood, after all, and it’s tough to be the person who takes paying work away from someone. In fact, if it ever doesn’t feel difficult to fire someone, it’s probably worth looking inward to figure out where your compassion went.
However, as hard as firing someone is, it’s also critically important to your job as a manager. Having the right people on your team makes an enormous difference in how effective you are and how much you achieve. And so holding a high bar and expecting people to meet it, warning them when they’re falling short, and taking action when that doesn’t change anything are some of your most basic and crucial responsibilities as a manager.
And remember that you didn’t fire this employee on a whim or without warning or for an unjust reason. It sounds like you clearly told her what she would need to change to keep her job, and she chose not to make those changes.
By the way, it’s worth noting that there are two different types of firings: There are firings which could have been avoided if the employee had been motivated to save his/her job but chose not to do what that would require And then there are firings that happen when the person is trying really hard and just can’t meet the bar you need.
The second type is a lot harder. When someone is trying hard to meet your expectations, he or she still might ultimately fail and you might need to let them go, but those will usually weigh on you a lot more than having to fire someone who, say, falsified a timesheet or blew off work.
All that said, it’s good and normal to feel compassion. But make sure that you’re also feeling good about looking out for the health of your team, holding people accountable for their own behavior, and enforcing fair and reasonable consequences. There are managers out there who don’t do those things, and believe me, they’re the ones whom great employees don’t want to work for. So hard as this was, you’re a better manager for doing it.
By: Dammy Eneli
See Also: Creative Tips To Boost Employee Morale