Letting an old employee go is not that much an easy task for the management as it looks from outside. It might look like a cold hearted decision but it is just the way of pruning the company tree to get more strength and efficiency in terms of performance and growth. However, the main question which you need to ask yourself is that "Is it the only solution left?" "Is there anything else you can do about it?" Some of the similar questions one needs to ask themselves while firing an employee are given below.
To save the face of court in the near future it is always better to check your prospects and options in open. It is always better to discuss the matter with the HR. Here are some questions you should have answers for.
1. Does the termination is based on some or the other aspect of Discrimination?
May be discrimination is the reason maybe not, however it always better to have a backup plan so keep your lawyers in loop if the situation presents itself. Think honestly that does the firing is based on gender, age, race, nationality, sexual orientation, etc.
2. Any chance to have a clause regarding termination protection or disability in the candidate?
There is no such rule which protects the employee to avoid termination, however in some cases the loop hole some other bylaws save them from the pain of termination. So check the bylaws before proceeding further. If the candidate got injured at work and has applied for some claim then he/she is protected by those laws, so keeping an eye on those is not a bad idea.
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It is always said that keep the personal and the professional life separate. So, before making the decision see inside yourself and think about your decision twice.
3. Are you acting on a personal grudge?
As stated earlier keeping the personal and the professional life separate is the most important thing if you have power in your hands, else it can cloud your professional judgement. Before putting the decision to ink it is always better to ask yourself, "Does the employee in question rub you the wrong way? Have you clashed in the past? Do you have a history outside the workplace that makes the workday unbearable? If you answered "yes" to any of these, you may be letting your professionalism slip."
4. Why Termination? Is it the right step?
Think about all the reasons about your decision of terminating the employee. Is it the necessity? "Did you want to open the position for another employee? Were your frustrated enough to jump to a conclusion? Are you getting pressure from above?" All these questions definitely take part in the making of the decision. Apart from this you have to consider about your position. Your team member look you as their ideal, are you setting the right example in front of them.
One of the most common explanations for terminating any employee is their performance. However you need to think these questions before acting on it.
5. Is the benchmark for performance check right?
Every employee is evaluated on the basis of certain benchmark, however the main question is did they had the right benchmark or it was too high to achieve. The checkpoint for their productivity is reasonable or not is also something one has to see before making their decision. Communicate with the employee and listen to their side of the story as well.
6. Is there any chance of improvement?
Do you think the employee can improve if guided properly then offer the guidance? A slight recognition can take the employee far up in their career and will be more loyal towards the company and you.
There is no right answer or wrong answer for these questions. It's on you to think them before dropping the axe.