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Ready, Aim, Fire!  That’s what it feels like when you’re doing a termination.

Most business owners don’t want to wait for numerous appeals and possible clemency – they want to move immediately to the execution!  There is always a “trigger” – something that pushes the owner to make this decision.

Our HR Helpline gets calls all the time from business owners wanting to Fire – the Ready, Aim part – well, they want to skip that part.  Ready and aim are important steps.  Are you ready?  Have you followed a progressive discipline process where the employee has been notified and had a chance to improve their performance?  Has this process been progressively more serious?  The “Aim” has to do with ensuring that you have done these steps and the termination is not a surprise to the employee.  Surprises lead to bad things – lawsuits, sabotage and sometimes violence.

Unless the employee has committed an offense which is a crime or is listed in your policies as an action requiring immediate termination, don’t skip the “Ready, Aim.” 

Firing an employee doesn’t have to be so hard.  A good performance improvement system and progressive discipline process will save you from sleepless nights now and an empty pocketbook later.

Suzanne K. Lemen, SPHR, is the CEO of Dynamic Corporate Solutions, Inc. which developed The HR Toolkit™ and HR Helpline & Update Service. Visit our HR Store for Forms, Policies, and Check-Lists for managers. Contact our team of HR Professionals for assistance with developing your company procedures and training your managers.