How to fire an employee professionally, gracefully and safely is easier said than done.

In this episode, I will share procedures to make this task straightforward.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Introduction

For a lot of us, knowing when and how to fire an employee can cause stress and even some sleepless nights. For members of the Hospitality Property School Group, I’m going to give you 11 reasons to fire an employee.

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How to Fire an Employee

If you’re an independent hotel, resort, inn or bed and breakfast owner or manager, and you’re having a problem with an employee, you have two choices:

•         You can try to work with them, and help them improve their performance or,

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•         Fire them

 

Firing someone is not a decision you can take lightly.

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The cost of turning over an employee can be high; it could cause your employee emotional and financial stress; it could cause distress with your other employees; depending on what country you are in, it could open you up to lawsuits, but unfortunately, there are times when this is your only option.

How to Fire an Employee-The Right & Wrong Ways | Ep. #322

Before you fire an employee

As soon as you know there’s a problem, act quickly.

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Sit down with your employee and discuss the concern. Ask them what they think is the cause and if possible offer suggestions for improvement.

•         Make sure you tell your employee about your concerns and that it could be grounds for termination.

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•         If it is a concern with the procedure, remind them that they accept these terms when they were hired or when the changes were made.

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•         Give them a warning if their work is being affected due to continually missing work or insubordination.

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I have seen both property owners and managers that evaluate their employees once a year, and some that never evaluate their employees.

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I recommend you make it a practice to talk to each of your employees at least every couple of months about their performance, how they feel about their job, and how things could improve.

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During these meetings, you should talk about your concerns.

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While it is your business, you have to consider your bottom line and the effect an unproductive employee would have on the rest of your staff, you should also consider their personal situation.

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If they have lost focus due to outside factors such as health concerns, relationship problems, divorce, death in the family, or financial problems. These are all issues that may be temporary and by everybody pulling together, you could save the loss of a valuable employee.

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This might give the employee the opportunity to resolve their difficulties and improve their performance in a timelier manner.

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Make sure to have a policy in your operations manual explaining the grounds for termination and go over it with the employee.

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Document your conversations, and then both you and your employee sign the document or e-mail them with a record of the conversation and have them reply that they have read it.

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It is critical to keep a paper trail as well as a record of all disciplinary actions.

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Give them a plan of action, specific improvements or changes required for them to keep their job, and clear deadlines of when these improvements or changes must be seen.

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Set up a timeline. Not all issues can be solved as fast as we would like, but a timeline and goals with deadlines will help you see if there’s any improvement, or not.

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If improvement is not shown, clarify to the employee that termination is the next step.

How to Fire an Employee-The Right & Wrong Ways | Ep. #322

Make a plan

Think about your employee’s responsibilities and who you might reassign them to or if you have to hire a new employee. (Be careful if you are planning to hire a new employee. If the employee you are thinking of firing sees the writing on the wall, they might start looking for a new job, If they find their job description for your company posted, they might take offence or worse, retaliatory measures.)

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If you feel the employee might fight the firing, think about offering a couple of weeks or months’ pay in exchange for them signing a severance agreement.

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When the time comes to fire your employee, do it privately in a place where both you and the employee can speak comfortably. There might be items that have to be discussed that need not be shared openly.

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Get to the point immediately, actually, it’s a good idea to practice what you’re going to say before the meeting.

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If you have followed all the steps leading to this meeting, the employee should not be surprised, and you do not have to go over the whole thing again.

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Just say, “I’m sorry things have not changed, I’m going to have to let you go.”

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•         You should have written a document of the next steps and then gone over it verbally. Items you might cover could include: emptying their workspace and returning any property, supplies, or equipment.

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•         Explaining the severance package, if applicable

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In most cases, the person you just let go or fired is not a bad person, just was not suited for the job.

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You may offer to give them a reference regarding their reliability, their attitude, their teamwork, and whatever parts of the job they were successful with.

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Thank them for the work they performed well, and wish them luck in their future endeavours.

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If you have followed the steps, your ex-employee should not be surprised and hopefully, the parting of ways will be cordial.

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Just in case, be ready in case they get upset.

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If they start lashing out emotionally or get insulting, do the same as you would do with an angry guest, don’t respond. Sure, that might not be fair to you, but it might be what they need to get through this situation.

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If for some reason they get violent, don’t hesitate, to call for help to the police if needed.

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Stay professional

It is hard to fire someone, especially if you know they require the job, but you have to remember, this is your business, and you’re responsible for your guests and your other employees.

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How to Fire an Employee-The Right & Wrong Ways | Ep. #322

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If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, as a bonus, I will give you 11 reasons to fire an employee.

 

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In conclusion

When you have an unproductive or disruptive employee at your property it can lower morale, turn off guests and cost you money. The problem for many of us is how to fire an employee.

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As soon as you know there’s an issue, act quickly by sitting down with your employee and discussing the concern. Ask them what they think is the cause and if possible offer suggestions for improvement. If that does not work, plan.

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Think about your employee’s responsibilities. Who you might reassign them to or if you have to hire a new employee and when the time comes to firing your employee, do it privately in a place where both you and the employee can speak comfortably. Above all, you have to stay professional.

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It is never an easy situation, but often it can be the best thing for both you and the employee.

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Do you have tips you have used when firing an employee?

Kindly let me know in the comments.

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How to Fire an Employee-The Right & Wrong Ways | Ep. #322

We cover more on independent hotels, resorts, inns, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals in

The Guide to Owning & Operating a Hospitality Property – Successfully” course.

You find more information at KeystoneHPD.com/course

 

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You will have access to this episode for as long as you would like, but if you would like to see all the bonuses you would have access to as a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, have a look at the short video in this episode post-show notes.

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How to Fire an Employee-The Right & Wrong Ways | Ep. #322

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In our next episode, I will be talking about 6 Strategies for Contending with Hotel Staff Shortages.

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That’s it for today’s episode,

Until next time, have a fun day.

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If you haven’t done so yet, make sure to sign up for the INNsider Tips, say hi on social and join one of our groups. And make sure you get your free copy of the “How to Improve Your Hospitality Properties Success” e-book.

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You can find all the links in the show notes.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT:

https://keystonehpd.com/how-to-fire-an-employee-the-right-wrong-ways-322

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“The Guide to Owning & Operating a Hospitality Property – Successfully” course.

https://KeystoneHPD.com/Course

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..How to Fire an Employee-The Right & Wrong Ways | Ep. #322

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Did you get your copy of the “How to Improve Your Hospitality Properties Success” ebook?

KeystoneHPD.com/How-to-Improve-Your-Hospitality-Properties-Success

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