I read somewhere that there is a correlation between heart attacks and firings. The message was that firing people is so stressful it affects our health. And it is certainly not fun for the person being fired either. What can you do to reduce the stress?
It took me a long-time to figure out what works best. As part of the hiring process, I now discuss what happens if either of us decide to part ways. In this conversation we discuss:
- What happens if either one of us conclude this is not the place for you?
- On our side, if we think you are not performing well, we will tell you and work with you to improve or find a position in the company that is a better fit.
- If we can’t do that, we will tell you in plenty of time (2 to 6 months depending upon the job) to find a job while you continue working. It is easier to find work while you are employed. We will support you in this process any way we can.
- In return we ask you to treat us in the same way. If you conclude it is not working give us a chance to fix it.
- If we can’t then give us as much notice as you can. Tell us you are beginning to look so we can do the same.
I finish the conversation by saying that in the end we want what’s best for you. Working in a position that isn’t a fit isn’t best for you or us. If we trust each other, we can figure this out in a constructive, win-win way. I have found people are relieved to have the discussion, it builds trust and addresses the reality that there is always risk that it won’t work out.