Managing underperformance is a crucial aspect of employee management, as it can be a precursor to firing. Effective strategies include setting clear expectations, providing feedback and training, and offering support and resources to help employees improve.
- The Best Approach to the Worst Conversation: "You're Fired"
Michael explains how managers need to take responsibility for employee performance and tackle it head-on, including when performance improvement plans (PIPs) and/or firing is needed.
- GitLab's Process for Underperformance and Performance Improvement Plans
GitLab's process guide explains who to discuss underperformance with, how to coach, and how to execute a performance improvement plan, including tying the PIP to company values.
When and Why to Fire
Knowing when and why to fire an employee can be challenging, but it is essential for maintaining a productive and positive work environment. Reasons for termination may include poor performance, misconduct, or a lack of cultural fit. It is important to consider legal and ethical implications and to communicate clearly with the employee.
- It’s Never Too Early to Fire
Lars provides advice on how to listen to your gut that someone needs to go, and also provides explicit things to watch out for: broken trust; Avoidance, false bravado, and political posturing; and lack of investment or enthusiasm in their projects.
- Values-based Firing
Gokul explains how there are three types of reasons to fire someone: performance, policy violation, or values violation.Values-based firings are the least common, but are needed to reinforce company values.
How to Fire
Firing an employee is never easy, but there are ways to do it that are respectful and professional. Key steps include preparing for the conversation, delivering the news in person and with empathy, providing clear reasons and next steps, and following up with the employee and remaining team members. It is also important to handle the logistics, such as collecting company property and updating records.
- Firing Well
When an employee needs to be fired, John recommends giving them time to find a new job (which requires trusting them), and to be honest with them about why things didn't work out, noting what they did well, and be clear with communication to people they work with so that no one is left guessing.
- How to Fire Employees With Empathy and Kindness
Similar to John, Gary explains how to fire with empathy and kindness by not letting firing be a surprise, help them get another job, and be willing to work with them on the narrative to the rest of the team.
- GitLab's Voluntary and Involuntary Termination Processes
This is an extremely detailed firing procedure, including how to create a private slack channel with HR, coordinate the termination date, figure out if a separation and release of claims agreement is necessary, etc.