4 tips for firing an employee

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It’s a conversation no one wants to have, but is sometimes necessary. Firing an employee is far from easy, but with some prior preparation, it can be less stressful for both the employer and employee.

farming 101 firing

1Get your ducks in a row
Before you fire an employee, it’s important to have certain things in order such as: last paycheck, benefits, insurance information, and official end date. If the reason for termination is poor performance, be sure to have record of the instances that led to firing. This will prevent any misunderstandings and will also help to protect the employer in case of any legal issues.

2Have a witness
Though it may sound unnecessary, the Better Business Bureau suggests that a third person be present during the termination of an employee. Whether that person is another manager or a trusted employee, their job is to take notes or mediate if needed. A witness will provide a non-biased point of view should any disagreement or legal matter arise.

3Practice, practice, practice
The last time you practiced a speech may seem like forever ago, but when firing an employee, the last thing you want to do is make it harder than it already is. Practicing your speech and answers to possible questions the employee may ask will make the process go smoother for all involved.

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What to say
There is no one sentence or speech that fits every termination, but there are a few things that every employer should explain.

Keep the explanation for firing clear and concise, and fully explaining the exit process to prevent any misunderstandings. Also, while the employer is expected to do most of the talking, they should also be ready to listen and react calmly.

The loss of a job is hard to take in, but respect and steady emotions from the employer will make the process easier.

Source: United States Department of Labor, Better Business Bureau

(Farm and Dairy is featuring a series of “101” columns throughout the year to help young and beginning farmers master farm living. From finances to management to machinery repair and animal care, farmers do it all.)

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Haley Drake is an assistant with Mahoning County's OSU Extension office and the Ohio Farm Business Analysis Program. A senior at Ohio State University, she is majoring in animal science with a minor in communications.

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