Poets always say, “If you love something, set it free.” But they’re poets, so who knows what the heck they’re talking about. Probably birds or flowers or something. What I’m getting at here is that poets should never run businesses, because in business, if you love something, you overpay it so that it stays. It’s the people you don’t love that you should “set free.” Like, for example, if you accidentally hire a bunch of poets.
There are many names for this process: firing, terminating, dismissing, letting go, canning, preforming open-business surgery, giving Donna her final curtsy, snipping the fat, trimming the scissors, letting bygones be career enders, melting army men, making Swedish on your promise, docking sail, mixing pepper with oregano, magnifying before you start Jaguar-ifying, etc., etc. What’s important isn’t what you call it; it’s how you do it.
Well, we here at the Sean University of Business Management Development Leadership had to go through this complicated process recently when new Dean-Chancellor of the Provost’s Office, Weaselfork, never even showed up for work. And since the whole thing is fresh in our minds, we thought we would share some tips in case you need to give some Donna at your company her last curtsy:
1. Put a fish tank in the room where you do your firing. Also, don’t let anyone use that room unless it’s for firing. That way the fired party will be more likely to seek retribution against the fish than against you. Because think about it: you’re the boss, so they saw you every day, but those fish? They were only there for the firing part. Suspicious!
2. When telling a person that he or she has been let go, speak with a Russian accent. This’ll help in two ways: 1) Russian accents are funny so it’ll soften the blow; and 2) the person will be, like, “Whoa, wait! All along the boss was Russian and I didn’t even notice? Jeez, maybe I don’t deserve to keep this job.”
3. Make sure everyone you fire signs a No Traveling Back In Time To Save Your Employment Agreement before leaving. Because, c’mon, we’re talking about people who couldn’t handle a simple job. The last thing you wants is them getting behind the wheel of a time machine!
4. Cleaning out a workspace can be a sad, time-consuming ordeal, but only if the person who’s doing the cleaning is the person who just got fired. If you hire someone else to clean out fired people’s desks, there won’t be all those sad nostalgic moments. Now, as far as who to hire, you’ll want someone with recent of desk-cleaning experience at a respectable business. Maybe consider someone you’ve fired yourself. In fact, if you hire the person you’re in the middle of firing to clean out his own desk, he won’t have to leave, which means he won’t have to clean out anything, which means the process won’t take him any time at all, which means he won’t be doing much work, which means he’s really not necessary to your business’s success, which means you should probably let him go.
Well, that's it for the general advice. But, as usual, I am available to help you each individually. In the comments, tell me about someone you need to fire, and I'll tell you how to do it tactfully!