Hiring and Laying Off Workers: 3 Often Asked Questions



Employers often ponder quandaries in hiring and firing workers. If you’re like many employers, you might want to consider re-thinking your approach to human resources.

As you analyze your situation, wisdom and courage are your best friends in addressing three typical questions about establishing guidelines.

11 AmbroThey include:

1. When do I commence hiring ?

2. If I have to lay off workers, can I include undesirable employees?

3. What do I do if the economy suddenly improves?

When do I commence hiring?

You hire when you’re confident about the economy and the demand for your products and services, as well as when you have adequate cash flow.

From a macro perspective, we can conclude, however, consumer confidence will be a factor in your decision-making.

Consumer demand will account for at least 50 percent of the desired economic expansion. But consumers – weary from being laid off and from unemployment reports – are likely to be very cautious.

“Concerned about the durability of the expansion and pending Obama Care mandate to fund health insurance for full-time employees, businesses are replacing full-time workers with part-timers,” explained Peter Morici, Ph.D., a widely quoted business professor at the University of Maryland.

In the first half of 2013, he wrote, another 833,000 workers are only working part-time. In Aug. 2015, the average American workweek is only 34.6 hours. (See his economic analyses here.)

So, companies have continued to slash labor costs. Automation from technology is another reason for Americans being under-employed or unemployed. You, too, must carefully monitor your company and macro situations.

If I have to lay off workers, can I include undesirable employees?

True, people are consistent in their behavior across the board. Unpleasant employees are frequently under-performers. You must deal with performance issues, but avoid the typical 12 errors in evaluations.

Make sure you have irrefutable reasons in order to avoid a potential claim of wrongful termination. This will be important, too, if you want to refill one or more positions.

You have to justify layoffs for workers if they’re merely annoying to be around. To avoid any legal hassles, it is generally feasible to let such workers go with some provisos.

Here are important questions to answer:

  1. Do you have documentation explaining the business reasons for a layoff?
  2. Can you defend your process for selecting whom to lay off?
  3. Do you have written performance reviews or records of disciplinary actions?
  4. Are you following all applicable laws?
  5. Are you fair and compassionate?

Make sure you have irrefutable reasons in order to avoid a potential claim of wrongful termination. This will be important, too, if you want to refill one or more positions.

Again, it’s important to properly deal with performance issues. You will also have to take precautionary steps to avoid morale issues with your retained workers.

What do I do if the economy suddenly improves?

A sudden improvement in the economy is unlikely, but be prepared. Firstly, consider your staff. Historically, many employees who do not have reasons to be loyal to an organization will want to work elsewhere. That’s mainly the workers who bide their time until the economy improves.

So it is critical to evaluate what will motivate employees to stay and become high performers. Recognition for good work is appreciated by 70 percent of workers. In fact, a study shows non-financial incentives motivate most employees.

Therefore, implement the appropriate measures to show your workers you care about their welfare. In addition, I am a big believer in employee development and training programs. If you fail to retain great workers, it will cost you in the long run.

Of course, know where and how to recruit the best employees. Here are advertising tips to attract the best talent.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more HR tips:

Lesson for Compassionate Bosses from Employees – If you’re a boss, don’t expect appreciation, commitment or loyalty from a worker you help with personal and work issues. Employees take it for granted, according to IMD business-school research. “Managers and employees alike appreciate that controlling negative emotions can be important within an organization,” said research co-author Professor Ginka Toegel.

Human Resources: 4 Reasons Why New Managers Fail – Best practices guarantee success for new managers. Not to over-simplify, but there are often four reasons why new managers are unsuccessful – ineffective communication, failure to develop trusting relationships, weak results, and a failure to delegate.

Strategies to Succeed as a New Manager – a Checklist – Congratulations, new manager. Welcome to a job you’ll find most challenging – if you do it right. You’ll be carefully watched by your staff. You’ll be judged on values demonstrated by your actions. What values will you show your employees?

“The problem with people is that they’re only human.”

-Bill Watterson


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.