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When do I let an employee know they are being let go?

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( 5 months ago )


I have been "considering my options" concerning one person in my auto repair business. While he is a valuable team member in some respects he also has some interpersonal issues that I don't feel are helpful for running the shop the way I want it to be run. Unfortunately, I am not able to be there to see the issues first hand so it's always a he said/she said.

This got me to thinking, when is the appropriate time to lay someone off when they are an integral part of the team? I need to replace them so bringing in people for interviews would be an obvious sign of being let go. I would like them to help with the transition but understand that that could be difficult for them.

Having several weeks of disappointed customers while looking for a replacement would not be good for business.

If I had decided to let them go, at some point in the future, say one month, would it be unethical or immoral to 'sneak around behind their back' trying to find someone to replace them? I've been struggling with my values of being open and honest with not wanting to have an employee (potentially) sabotage my business.

Is it ok to do things behind the scenes and keep an employee 'in the dark'? Or should one let them know as soon as a decision is made?


The question is not "Should I let this person go?" nor is it "What can I do to determine if I should let them go?"

The question is, if I have decided to let someone go, WHEN should I tell them and are there any ethical or moral issues around not telling them as soon as the decision is made?



( 5 months ago )

You need to start off by talking to the "problem" employee and explain there have been complaints about their behavior and that it needs to stop/change their approach because it is causing problems in the work place. If it continues...

It would not be unethical to get a replacement behind their back. You need to put your family and self first and then your business and employees' families. The way I see it is the employee did it to themselves; you gave them every opportunity to change/improve and they betrayed your trust in them. Once you are at a point where you are committed to firing this employee, get a replacement* and let them go with no notice. If you are worried about them, you are free to provide severance.

*You can always interview replacements away from the actual job site.

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