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Robert Rimberg-How do you fire an employee?

Hi, I’m Rob Rimberg, president of Rimberg Online Bookkeeping. Today’s topic is “how do you fire an employee”? Now, it’s never easy. It’s never good. But especially in this economy, some of the wood is dead and the dead wood has to go if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re running a business. Everybody’s got to […]

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Hi, I’m Rob Rimberg, president of Rimberg Online Bookkeeping.

Today’s topic is “how do you fire an employee”? Now, it’s never easy. It’s never good. But especially in this economy, some of the wood is dead and the dead wood has to go if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re running a business. Everybody’s got to be firing on all cylinders. Everybody’s got to be productive. People, employees that are not productive have got to go.

So, What’s the best way of firing an employee? Now, here’s a caveat before I get started, I am not a labor lawyer. Some of the things I’m telling you, although nothing is wrong or illegal, you should however, check with legal counsel to make sure you’re not violating any laws in your state.
That’s my caveat. Now, this is how you fire an employee. Always, always. Friday, Friday, not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,  or Thursday. Friday, five o’clock. You walk over to the employee, you tell them, come into my office. Don’t go into a whole song and dance, don’t give a lot of reasons, short and sweet.

For example, just sit down, Joe. We’re going to have to let you go. We’re sorry things aren’t good, and today’s your last day. Thank you so much. Shake the person’s hand, Joe. I need the keys to the office.  


Walk just over to the desk. Joe, give me the key. Get the key back to the office, make the decision; should you change the locks or not? OK, Joe, please take your personal effects out of your desk. Stand there while Joe is taking his personal effects out of his desk. Now, I know this is difficult. It’s not comfortable, but the reason is you don’t want Joe to take sensitive material to your business, the business that you’ve worked so hard for, to take sensitive material out of your office.

Joe takes the pictures of his wife, his kids, his coffee mug, whatever it is, puts it in his box, and walk Joe out the door. Thank you so much. Whatever Joe is entitled to payroll severance pay, if that’s part of the package, vacation time, pay him and be done. OK, that’s how you fire an employee. Again, it’s not easy. It’s not a great feeling. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. But you have to do it quick and fast.

The reason I say Friday is because it’s out the door. The rest of the employees have the whole weekend to think about it. It doesn’t it doesn’t become a buzz in the office. Monday is a whole new whole new week and life goes on. You don’t want to cause a whole hubbub in the office. The worst thing you could do, is to give an employee two weeks notice. All that does is, he or she spends those two weeks badmouthing you, bad mouthing the organization and trying to get as many people to leave with them. So it’s never a good idea. Yes. When your employee wants to leave, he or she should give you two weeks notice. You say, well, what’s fair for them is fair for us. Are you in business for them or your business for you? Of course it’s not fair, but that’s the way you have to do it again.

it doesn’t become a buzz in the office.

In summary, Friday, five o’clock, get the keys, stand at the desk, make sure that nothing sensitive leaves the building very important. Pay the employee everything they’re entitled to. Short, sweet and out the door, although this isn’t pleasant, this is how you do it, if you have any questions about firing an employee or you’re not sure what to do. You give me a call. I’m Robert Rimberg.

This article originally appeared as a Video on the Robert Rimberg Youtube Channel.





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