After the firing

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If you’re the boss, you’ve got to be able to fire people fairly and finally. It should never be easy, because firing people is messing with their lives. But firing is more than an emotional event, it’s also an organizational failure.

It’s easy to breathe a sigh of relief and move on to other things as soon as the door swings shut behind the person you fired. Don’t do that. Take some to analyze what went wrong.

Review your recruiting and hiring process.

Is there anything you could have done in the recruiting or hiring process that might have prevented hiring the person in the first place? Looking back, were there any warning signs that you missed or discounted? Should you have shared more about the company and its culture during the interviews?

Review your onboarding process.

Was there a process in place to help the person understand how things work at your company? Did you take the time to show him or her around? Was there someone assigned as a guide during the critical first weeks or months?

Did you set the person up for success or failure?

Did you provide the training, supervision, and resources they need to do the job? When problems surfaced, did you do everything you could to make things turn out right?

Boss’s Bottom Line

Firing is always an organizational failure. If you analyze the failure you’ll find ways to do things better in the future. If you don’t, you’ll keep making the same mistakes.

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