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Mafdet
03-03-2014, 01:09 PM
Hey guys,

have you ever had to give a bad news to an employee? Something related to the performance, to his position becoming redundant, overtime request, etc?
How would you address this kind of situations? Since it's important to have the support of your employees I believe it's important to find the best way to inform them when something that might affect them is about to happen.

crimsonghost747
03-05-2014, 02:33 AM
If it's part of a longer discussion with him/her you can always use the, pardon my language, shit sandwich method. Positive-negative-positive. A simplified version: I notice you've been working hard and I really appreciate it but at the moment I can't accept your overtime request due to whatever. But you're doing a great job so in the future I'll definitely keep you in mind if such an opportunity is available.

mikelouis
03-05-2014, 03:50 AM
You must be prepared to say this a lot especially if you are in the management position. Sometimes if the worker is not doing well, you just have to show them the door. Your business needs people you can rely on not those that can lead to your business failing.

alec
03-05-2014, 07:15 AM
Once you start doing this a lot you'll just learn to deliver a template message for all issues, kinda like crimsonghost747 describes above.

There's no point to customize your message for each employee, just tell them it's not possible and be done with. This is most true for companies with lots of employees where many people pass through your office daily. Sure, some will get mad and feel cheated but in the end they'll understand that this is how things go.

janineaa
03-05-2014, 07:54 AM
It's inevitable to have to dismiss employees. It's important to learn how to say it properly, especially if you are the owner or in a managerial position. It's best to learn how to confront an employee without offending them. But I guess at times, being straight to the point can get them offended. If your company is at stake, just be professional to the employees and tell it how it is with a hint of empathy.

owesem75
03-05-2014, 08:25 AM
For this situation, I think just saying NO within the premise of professional relationship is easy. For as long as there is no violation on their rights and that things are explained properly for them to clearly understand the reason behind your decision. People of today tend to be more straight-forward and open minded, although not all.

tspires2
03-05-2014, 08:33 AM
While no one likes to be the one that delivers the bad news so to speak! I try to be as nice as possible! Some people call it soft but I fell that just because you no longer need this person at the moment (as long as nothing has been done to break the bond) there is no reason not to ensure they know you are as sad to see them go as they are to go. There may be a time you need them again or vice versa. Don't burn a bridge for no reason! That is just bad business!

LindaKay
03-05-2014, 06:26 PM
I think it depends on the situation. If the person has been screwing up, then I wouldn't feel bad about it at all. If it is something out of the person's control or was an honest, one-time mistake or something, though, I would feel bad.

Eagles910
03-05-2014, 06:51 PM
The best policy is to just be honest. No beat around the bush. Be firm, and tell them the truth. It maybe difficult at first, but in the end they will respect you more. Be the Boss. You don't have to feel sorry for running your business the right way.

Mafdet
03-06-2014, 03:09 PM
If it's part of a longer discussion with him/her you can always use the, pardon my language, shit sandwich method. Positive-negative-positive. A simplified version: I notice you've been working hard and I really appreciate it but at the moment I can't accept your overtime request due to whatever. But you're doing a great job so in the future I'll definitely keep you in mind if such an opportunity is available.

This made me laugh and at the same time is quite good advice and a good strategy.

DomDom
03-06-2014, 04:01 PM
It depends on the personality of the employee I think. Honest and direct is the best and most common way to do it for me!

cpefley
03-06-2014, 05:28 PM
Be honest. If an employee goes around thinking that there is nothing wrong with their performance, then they won't improve. If you have to say no, say no. Sometimes being the boss means giving bad news. It isn't fun, but it is inevitable.

wander_n_wonder
03-06-2014, 08:18 PM
Transparency and communication are very important. I know it's really hard to say something negative to them or to deliver a bad news. However, most employees appreciate honesty as well. If you tell them early that, for example, they will be axed from their position in a period of 3 months, at least they have enough time to prepare the next steps. Saying "no" or being frank is better than giving unpleasant surprises later on.

M.K
03-06-2014, 09:58 PM
It's much easier if you make the effort not to raise any applicant's expectations. I always stay poker-faced during interviews and try not to lead anybody on. Nobody should be disappointed not to get the job unless they've been led to believe they had a very good chance.

CeliVega
03-06-2014, 10:56 PM
Delivering the message without hurting their pride. Try to sound nice and said things like, "I will be waiting for you in my office at what time, got some on hand task to discuss with you", instead of "Come to my office. It's urgent." it helps in not getting the other employees getting all panic or do some wild guessing like "The company is not doing well! I am getting out of here!" as well.

And then be honest and just tell him or her the bad news without sounding too harsh. "I noticed that there's a slight drawback with your tasks lately" instead of "You are not delivering results at all". Hurting their pride if they are having a bad day may results in them hurting you physically.

Rainman
03-07-2014, 03:48 AM
Have you ever heard that false hope is better than no hope at all? In the film industry no one will tell you, you're no good. They'll simply make you believe that though you're so good and they'd like to hire you . . . the part or whatever . . . isn't perfect for you, that they'll get in touch . . . that way you lose but feel like you won something anyway.

I think that should be the best strategy to employ. You can be honest and dash someone's hopes so badly they wouldn't want to try asking for a raise/promotion/find another job, etc. So make your no sound like a perhaps . . .

fredkawig
03-07-2014, 08:17 AM
It's easier to just tell them immediately rather than taking time to do it. Usually if you take time doing it you will end up not firing anyone. If the employee really deserves to be laid off and that has shown no interest in working at all then you better remove him immediately.

Taru
03-07-2014, 08:59 AM
It's best to just be straightforward, in my opinion. I think most people just look to be talked to honestly, that is, besides getting what they are asking for, of course. If you explain the situation properly, and if the employee is capable enough of understanding it, then just being straightforward will usually suffice. It's all just a part of business anyway, and hopefully the people involved will just not take it personally and realize that it is what's necessary.

DomDom
03-07-2014, 03:18 PM
It is also important to develop a good relationship with honest answers! Your employee will probably be thankful for your honest answers over the long term.

SteakTartare
03-07-2014, 08:11 PM
I have had to, on more than one occasion, come down on an employee. Its never easy, but it has to be done. I can think of two good examples; one that turned out good, the other it was as bad as it gets.

Case One: We had a new hire to handle field work. He was a young guy, motivated, but certainly "green." While a generally decent employee, he had a hard time following through on given tasks. There were often very lame excuses as to why they weren't done and then I caught him in a lie about one of them. Me and another management type sat down and had a candid talk to him about it. He acknowledged the situation, swore to do better, and lo and behold, he did. He's still with the firm and is an integral part of our field tech team. Looking back, there was nothing amiss other than being young and inexperienced. He's a good guy and I am glad we didn't cut him loose.

Case Two: There was a guy who came fairly highly recommended to us for our mail room staff. Granted, this is pretty low on the totem, but still, we need folks to take care of business there. Anyway, this guy shows up, I set him up, and as soon as I head off to my office, he starts spouting obscenities, going on wild tangents about conspiracy nonsense, and otherwise acting like a nut. I am called down a few times by the people that work in that department because they are freaked. I tell him to cut the crap, but he continues anyway. So I give him his pay, tell him to get out, and don't come back. Know what happened the next day? The clown actually calls me to see if he's still got a job. I really loathe having to let someone go, but this was just too much.

Anyway, those are the two extremes, and, believe me, there are plenty in between. Long story short (I know, too late), its never easy to have to tell someone they screwed up, but you've got to protect your business.

delusional
03-09-2014, 02:09 PM
I helps to just block every emotion you have. Or if you don't know the person at all. I will have to call a lot of people in a few weeks and tell them they didn't get the job and I'm still not sure how I'll do it.

difrancprod
03-10-2014, 02:57 AM
You can always deliver it constructively. Follow the bad news with an advice or tip on how to improve next time. You must just really learn to choose your words on this one.

Mafdet
03-10-2014, 11:33 AM
I have had to, on more than one occasion, come down on an employee. Its never easy, but it has to be done. I can think of two good examples; one that turned out good, the other it was as bad as it gets.

Case One: We had a new hire to handle field work. He was a young guy, motivated, but certainly "green." While a generally decent employee, he had a hard time following through on given tasks. There were often very lame excuses as to why they weren't done and then I caught him in a lie about one of them. Me and another management type sat down and had a candid talk to him about it. He acknowledged the situation, swore to do better, and lo and behold, he did. He's still with the firm and is an integral part of our field tech team. Looking back, there was nothing amiss other than being young and inexperienced. He's a good guy and I am glad we didn't cut him loose.

Case Two: There was a guy who came fairly highly recommended to us for our mail room staff. Granted, this is pretty low on the totem, but still, we need folks to take care of business there. Anyway, this guy shows up, I set him up, and as soon as I head off to my office, he starts spouting obscenities, going on wild tangents about conspiracy nonsense, and otherwise acting like a nut. I am called down a few times by the people that work in that department because they are freaked. I tell him to cut the crap, but he continues anyway. So I give him his pay, tell him to get out, and don't come back. Know what happened the next day? The clown actually calls me to see if he's still got a job. I really loathe having to let someone go, but this was just too much.

Anyway, those are the two extremes, and, believe me, there are plenty in between. Long story short (I know, too late), its never easy to have to tell someone they screwed up, but you've got to protect your business.

There's a lot one can learn from experience and the experience you've had with the two employees is indeed relevant and shows how a type of attitude is suitable for some and unsuitable for others.

mikka254
03-10-2014, 05:47 PM
Managing employees is not as difficult as you would think. I have said this a few times before, the work place is not a place to make friends. Simply tell them what their doing is wrong. If it is affecting the business, warn them of the possibility of terminating their contract. Besides, if the employees is a friend of the company, he or she would want to know if they are under-performing.

GottBiz
03-27-2014, 05:09 AM
I agree with crimsonghost747 basic idea; delivering a couple of positives for every negative. But specific situations and specific personality types require the delivery to be adjusted of course. There are other threads in this form (like this one (http://www.smallbusinessforums.org/showthread.php?1036-Happy-Employees-Good-Employees)) where the attitude of the employee is addressed. You always need to keep your finger on the pulse of your company moral, and not just when you are delivering unfavorable news.

Jane Hastings
03-30-2014, 10:27 AM
Everyone deserves an honest explanation. I'm sure your employees would appreciate it if you're honest to them. Talk to them and make them understand what's happening and why you can't grant their wishes. Let them down easy like compliment them and let them know you appreciate them.

Rosyrain
03-30-2014, 03:27 PM
LOL I hate the sandwiching method! In all seriousness, you should start out with a positive before going into a negative though. It helps a lot if you have the employee engaged in the discussion so that they can understand why you are saying no and be part of the solution to the problem.

DomDom
03-30-2014, 05:37 PM
I helps to just block every emotion you have. Or if you don't know the person at all. I will have to call a lot of people in a few weeks and tell them they didn't get the job and I'm still not sure how I'll do it.

Its a little bit harsh but I would do this over a cellphone message. Its too sad to hear people who didnt get it.

sweetkymom
04-04-2014, 03:43 PM
You have to be very straight forward with your answer and reasonings. You don't have to sit and give or listen to a son story either.