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It can be extremely difficult when an employee is just not meeting company expectations. Before ever terminating employment with them, it’s important to ensure that their job responsibilities were clear. Take a moment to consider if they were ever given any clear guidance. Was there ever a clear plan set into motion to help give the employee a chance to improve? The following are several steps to take before ever terminating an employee.

Writing everything down is of great importance. When something is not in writing it can always be argued that it never occurred or was discussed with the employee. Even when having a simple informal conversation with an employee, it can be helpful to have it written down somewhere. Simply grab a notebook and make a note of the conversations and meetings that are held with employees. Having it on file to refer back to allows you to know when and what has been discussed.

Make sure that all expectations are clearly being communicated to the employee. It is difficult for an employee to meet all of the expectations when everything has not been properly communicated to them. Making sure the employee has a solid understanding of the functions and responsibilities of their particular role in the company is critical. What does it take for a person to be successful in his or her role? It’s important that you already have a clear understanding of what it takes to successfully fulfill every role.

Every employee should be properly coached for the role they are working in. This helps to provide all of the necessary feedback to the employee in a more informal manner. They are able to hear everything they are doing right, and areas that need to be improved upon. All of this is necessary before moving on to disciplinary action.

Develop a performance improvement plan with the employee if coaching the employee has not worked out. This will help to spell out the problem areas, and document the goals for them to reach. Sometimes this many not work effectively, and it is time to move on to written counseling. This allows them to know improvements must be made immediately before taking the final step of termination.