Managing a completely remote team has to be based on trust, organization and well-established processes, which we talk about regularly.
We’ll all agree on this one: no normal person enjoys firing people.
When it comes to needing to let people go or fire them we face that horrible feeling in our gut, that awful firing anxiety and instead of searching for ways to overcome and beat firing anxiety we start making excuses:
”No, this person is still learning.”
“Oh no, next month it will be better.”
“Maybe I didn’t explain it very well.”
“I failed. I probably didn’t manage that person well enough because, in the end, I have to fire that person.”
We keep forgetting that’s not always the case. Some collaborations and relationships simply don’t work. People don’t get along, or someone is simply a good person but keeps failing to deliver results.
Our database has over 6,000 high-quality job seekers from Eastern Europe, and if we were all robots all those developers, designers, writers or VAs would do the job perfectly every time. However, we’re not, we’re humans, and regardless of how good someone is at what they do, it doesn’t mean you will get along.
So if for some reason you do find yourself in the situation where you need to let someone go (or want to avoid getting in that situation) then here are a few things you need to pay attention to:
You need to have ground rules from the start to overcome and beat firing anxiety
Many people fail to build a good foundation for their new employees.
You must start your new employee with a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of your company. You are obligated to tell him or her what is acceptable and what is not. We highly recommend having a clear contract in place alongside a simple and informal ‘ways of working’ document.
When people know what you expect then you’re in a much better place to succeed from the start.
Also, when we speak about ground rules it’s very important you make it clear where they may be leeway and which things are absolute showstoppers for you and your business.
Big companies and corporations make it clear with employees around what would result in gross misconduct and getting fired vs lesser issues. A tricky subject for sure but one that it’s much better to be clear in your own mind in advance.
By having good foundations like this you will decrease the chances of issues with your team that in the worst case may result in you needing to fire anyone, and even if it does come to you needing to let someone go, you will know those good foundations were in place and clear expectations were set.
It’s far better than you realizing you need to let someone go, but you didn’t have clear expectations in place from the start.
Make sure you 100% know why you are firing
Firing someone is a big step, however, you want to keep your credibility and integrity.
Always make sure you are 100% certain of all the reasons you want to fire your employee.
Many business owners fire people when they don’t even know why actually they are firing that person. You will easily avoid this problem if you go back to the expectations for the role, how they’re performing and what the issues are. Figure out those issues, identify your options and then stick to your instincts.
If someone simply doesn’t fit into the picture you thought you have put together, think about the parts you don’t see fitting well. See if you can improve them, or can you grow with them.
If the answer is yes then start working on it with your employee.
If the answer is no, make sure you identify those things clearly and precisely and see if they are actually big enough to let someone go.
Realize you owe it to your business to make the right decision
The future of your business and the people who are proactive in the team deserve nothing less but the best community and work culture. And for that, they need you to be decisive.
Your business needs to grow, that’s the ultimate goal, right? Think about how much more your business will succeed if you have everyone pulling in the same direction.
Having people who are not delivering expected results or not achieving goals are simply people who are holding you back. Therefore, you need to let them go, regardless of how good friends they are or how much you like them.
Make sure you’ve talked to the employee in question, talk through the concerns you have and give them the opportunity to improve. So long as you’ve done that you are entirely justified in making the decision to let them go if they haven’t improved.
This is how many firing attempts fail.
You have to realize that the final conversation is not a negotiation but you stating your final decision.
If your employee starts negotiating let him know it’s just not an option. Go back and talk through the expectations you set, the tasks you agreed and where they fell short. Tell them that this is your final decision.
Negotiation will only make it harder for you and for your employee. You will start considering how to fix a broken situation, and they will try to do something better that they’re just not good at.
Explain what will happen now and any final salary payments you might be making to them.
Stay focused, even if they get angry or upset.
Stop being guided by emotions
There’s no place for emotions when it comes to firing someone.
We are all well aware that it can easily happen that someone is a poor performer but a very good person. Sooner or later you realize that it is affecting your business and you have no option than to let that person go.
If you are close with that person that also can be a trigger for your emotions.
However, this is business.
Let your employee know that this is not easy for you, but it’s the final decision and you must part ways.
Hopefully, the employee will realize sooner or later that it’s not personal and they will look for the ways in how they can improve in future jobs.
This is for your future, for the future of your business and to be honest with you, probably the best future for your employee.
We like to believe that everyone has a superpower and they just need to work to discover it. Poor performers are simply people that still didn’t find their superpower.
In the end, you need someone with a particular superpower, so letting someone go will just allow you to get someone better.
Be direct, concise and honest
Sugarcoating is the worst possible way to let someone go.
It’s unprofessional, and it makes the whole process very uncomfortable because the other person can clearly see it.
Sure, you don’t have to be like the Terminator in the room, you can express your sadness for you two parting ways, but again, everyone deserves the truth.
Make sure you express exactly why you are letting that person go. Don’t start wandering around with the story. Stick to the subject and be honest about it.
What if they make a ‘Scene’?
It’s completely natural that your employee may make a scene – crying, begging or even becoming violent or threatening.
In those cases always do your best to allow someone to react but again let them know where the boundary is.
If they are upset, offer for them to take 5 minutes to compose themselves and come back on the call.
These things are not easy to handle, but again it’s the process. We’d all want to have employees who will be like “I’m getting fired? Ok, thanks for cooperation, have a good day”.
Dealing with these situations with remote workers can be even harder, communication, when you’re not in front of someone, takes even more effort for you to get right. So make sure you take the time to prepare thoroughly.
Point is, always be prepared to handle all kinds of the situation as a professional.
How to avoid firing people
Firing people is not pleasant and it definitely takes a toll on your business, because you need to start searching for someone else, and when you do, you need to invest time to educate them about your business.
The only legit way you can avoid firing people is if you start paying more attention to the hiring and onboarding process.
It’s very important that you invest a good amount of time and effort to studying applicants and getting the best possible hire.
We agree with you on this one: Hiring process is not easy and it can be hard work.
How can you be 100% sure that you chose the best candidate?
There are numerous factors that you need to pay attention to, and making a mistake can cost you significant money and time.
So when it comes to hiring, we always recommend investing the time upfront to get the best quality person you can for you and your business.
Here at JobRack, we are dedicated to connecting high-quality job seekers from Eastern Europe to companies worldwide. Our database counts over 6,000 phenomenal workers who are seeking to commit to a good company and there are numerous reasons why you should have an Eastern European in your team.
You can post your job advert right now and find your own amazing highly skilled, qualified and committed hire or you can reach out directly to us and use our Done For You service where we’ll do all the hard work for you.
It’s completely fine if you are unfamiliar with the secrets of the hiring process. That’s why we got your back. With our Done For You service, we will find the best talent to fit the role you need.