August 22, 2010 1:34 PM Subscribe
Should we fire our newly-hired employee?
posted by anonymous to work & money (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am the co-owner of a small company (4 people). One of our employees (“Ron”) was hired in Spring 2010 as an office manager. When we hired Ron he was working at another company doing something entirely different. He had no managerial experience and was not looking for a new job but we poached him. Ron was hired because, after hitting it off with him at a networking event, it seemed his people skills would make him a good fit for the position.
We hired him on a ‘freelance’ basis, but wrote a contract essentially saying that we would hire him for 1 year, at a set amount each week. We also wrote in the contract that either party could terminate with 30 days notice. The contract was never signed but both parties have copies.
Ron’s performance has been satisfactory in some areas but in others has been very poor. He does not manage time well, shows no initiative and makes it clear that he feels that certain aspects of his job are beneath him. We feel that we are overpaying him for the work he is doing and that he is not a long term fit for our company.
We have sat him down twice now to let him know that he needs to pick up his act and that we feel he is not doing the job well enough. Our last such meeting was just over a week ago. He expressed to us that, while he enjoys the job, he is feeling unmotivated. We told him that, in order for us to feel comfortable with giving him more important responsibilities, he had to prove that he was capable of the small tasks.. This past week he showed minor improvement.
This morning he sent an email to both directors saying that he feels that he is not being challenged and would like to start taking on aspects of the business that the directors are responsible for. These are not things that he was hired to do, nor will there ever be an opportunity for him to do them.
His email frustrated us considering that we had a serious talk with him a week ago about his performance. It is clear to us that he is not happy with the position as it is and we are not happy with him.
We both want to fire him, as he is not living up to our expectations (or the salary). Our business is relatively slow at the moment, but come October things will get incredibly busy. I would like to get this out of the way now so that we can find a suitable replacement in time.
I feel bad that we hired him away from a job only 4 months ago and part of me thinks that we owe him time to prove himself. On the other hand, I don’t see him ever being able to perform well enough to justify the salary we are paying him or to give him the level of responsibility he’s asking for.
So, folks, what to do? Is there any reason we shouldn’t let him go tomorrow? We were thinking of offering him a choice of either two-weeks severance pay or 30 days notice. Should we just offer him the severance pay and call it a day? Any advice on how to break the news?