By Jeff Pizzino, APR, Corporate Communications –
If you’re in business, you interact with people on a daily basis. It’s inescapable because you’ve got employees, co-workers, investors, clients, and customers all clamoring for your attention.
And if you’re at the top of the food chain, you’ve got a management team to manage. So if one of your employees isn’t behaving, what can you do?
The tough thing is in knowing how to deal with the employee appropriately, based on what they have been doing. It’s a completely different issue dealing with a lazy employee who always misses deadlines versus a deceptive employee who has been stealing from the company. How do you manage those cases? One theory is that you can fire them and replace them, but what does that actually do?
Costs of Firing an Employee
There are many reasons not to dismiss an employee. Employment lawyer Robin Shea recently discussed several of these, including the fact that nobody is perfect. Firing is traumatic for the employee, and some people will change their actions if they are given the opportunity (Shea 2013).
However, the most compelling reason for many employers not to fire their employees is due to the heavy cost associated with it.
The cost of firing an employee can be quite significant. First, you have to deal with the replacement cost, including recruiting, hiring, training, etc. Financially, you’re out the amount of unemployment compensation, severance package, settlement, etc. for the employee you fired.
If legal problems arise related to firing someone, you have to be concerned with the costs of arbitration, discrimination charges, a personal injury lawyer, litigation or defense, trial, etc. These costs can become quite significant.
Reasons for firing an employee will, of course, vary. It may be that the financial costs and related time costs of firing and replacing an employee are worth it because of the nature of the infraction (i.e., embezzling money or causing serious issues for co-workers or customers, etc.).
Still, consider carefully the options available to you before firing an employee right away.
Lie detection technology such as EyeDetect™ can help determine the legitimacy of an employee’s deceptive activities. With this new periodic employment screening technology, you can approach at-risk employees to seek for a behavioral change.
Sometimes, it might actually pay to convince an employee to turn over a new leaf and start afresh.