I am not an HR or Labour consultant, so this post is not about how to fire a staff member and not end up at the CCMA.
Every business seems to have at least one of those high maintenance, destructive staff members. Those people who seem to suck the very energy out of others. They seem wise to the laws and walk very close to the minimal effort line, but their attitude is what does the damage. You know who I am speaking about.
So what can you do? I just love the Apprentice show, where the Boss leans over the table and says “You have been terminated”. But the laws in South Africa just do not allow for this. Due process needs to be followed and this at best of times can be long and tedious. We have just come out of a season of right-sizing and getting rid of some staff, moving others and employing more. Our team is now better and more efficient than ever. It was a long and often painful process, but we did hire the expertise of a consultant to keep it legal and regulated.
It is important to keep your head above the issues during these times and remember that the bigger picture of the business is always more important than the personal issues and remarks from individuals. People can become very nasty and destructive during retrenchments, hearings and warnings, but as business owners, this comes with the job description.
There is also the coaching and consulting that should happen with each staff member to help avoid the decay that leads to dismissal. Regular meetings, encouragement, guidance and education all help prevent staff loss. But alas there are those that will just not cooperate and need to be pruned.
If you are going through this season in your business, hang in there. Keep taking the high and legal road. Do not get sucked into the personal squabble and hurtful remarks. Address people as adults, hear their views and follow due process. It will work out in the end.
If you are struggling with staff and wanting to do some pruning and cutting, then start today. Waiting even a day longer than necessary just adds to your resentment and decreases the joy of coming to work. Good luck.