I Turned the Corner in My Grocery Store

Much to My Surprise…Terminating an Employee can be a Positive Event

I turned the corner in my grocery store, and there he was—the first person I had ever fired as a manager three years ago. I spun around hoping he had not seen me, but it was too late. He saw me and started walking determinedly towards my direction. Much to my surprise, he greeted me warmly, inquired about my family, and then thanked me for firing him. He explained that being fired forced him to re-evaluate his life, his priorities, and his purpose in life. He was now married, saved, and much happier.

I tell my students that it is not likely people will actually thank them for being fired by them, but the point is clear: if an employee is not performing well, and is unwilling to change performance and/or attitude, firing that employee may be in their best interest. Although there may be short-term disruptions, leaving the organization frees that employee to find a place where he or she can be successful. So, terminating an employee can be a positive event, although it may be some time before that becomes clear. Keeping this thought in mind may help you through what is often an unenjoyable task.

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