Business Coach Diaries

Real stories from real Business Coaches

Hostage Alert! Don’t Let Your Employees Become Terrorists

Ample Business Coach Examples:

  1. Podcast Inspiration – Don’t Let Your Employees Hold You Hostage 
  2. 70% Of Your Employees Hate Their Jobs – 
  3. “75% of employees steal from the workplace and most do so repeatedly.” – 


“Danger, Will Robinson!” 

This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. We have an employee that is reaching critical mass. Total nuclear meltdown is imminent. Please seek shelter in the nearest safe place immediately. Avoid hostile behavior and passive-aggressive remarks. Be advised that the blast radius could spread as far as other employees. 

Has this scenario ever happened to you? An employee is on-boarded and brought into your business with the hopes of providing continued value, only to slowly and quietly erode over time until they hit their boiling point. For quite a few of the business owners that I business coach this is a far too common experience. I’ll level with you, as the previous manager of a multimillion-dollar business I’ve also run into this problem more times than I’d like to admit or even acknowledge. The sad truth is that all employees are great until they are not. Every once in a while an employee will cease to fit into your company culture and will mentally quit, resulting in poor performance that hurts your business along with a growing disdain for your systems and process. This is when an employee enters the “Terrorist” phase, and believe me, you do not want a terrorist on your payroll. A terrorist will over complicate your business and will surely make your life a living hell. Slowly over time you as the business owner will become a hostage to their demands and behaviors. 

So what do we do with this employee when we know that keeping them around is bad for the business? The blunt answer: Fire their A**. There is simply no justifiable reason to continue to employ someone that impacts your growth, wellbeing, and company culture. But therein lies the rub. Most business owners have never had a crash course in the fine art of firing. I’m often asked, “Jason, J-Man, Jam Master J. Is there a system I can use when firing my first employee? Is there anything I can do to protect myself and my business from any fallout or repercussions of the firing?”. The answer is absolutely! Follow me, my friends, as I am about to lead you on a magnificent journey through the action steps of how to fire like a seasoned pro. 

Step 1: The Documentation Process

So let’s go over how exactly you can start the process of firing someone smoothly. First, you need to gather everything that you can about the business coach person you want to fire. This includes everything from write ups, disciplinary notices, recorded calls, and even video footage. You want to make sure that you have all of your ammunition in place when it comes down to making the final decision. Having proper documentation and resources is a priority so that you can protect yourself as well as your business from the wrath of a poor employee. I’ve seen far too many business owners fire too fast and terminate an employee without having a leg to stand on. This could result in you having to pay the unemployment wages of a C player employee in the long run.

Are you missing documentation for a toxic employee?  A common issue I encounter with clients is that they don’t have a disciplinary or write up system in place when it comes time to terminate. An easy fix for this is to create a simple write up form that details any and all fireable offenses. These can be anything from tardiness, not following systems, harassment, drug use, etc. Once you have this in place, it makes it easier to have a disciplinary conversation with an employee as you can visually show them what policy has been broken and coach them towards a solution. If they continue to fail to grasp these concepts you now have a bulletproof system to document each infraction to use when it comes to the actual firing. 

Step 2 – It’s Officially Time to Pull The Trigger

After you’ve accumulated the appropriate documentation, it’s finally time to meet with the person and commence with the task at hand. That’s right my friend, it’s time to fire. It is a good idea to have a witness there if possible as this helps with accountability as well as provides another party to verify everything that took place within the termination meeting. When approaching a termination meeting, it’s best to meet with the employee very calmly and have them sign a separation and release document. This allows you to better end the employment relationship on your terms and protect your company from any backlash from said employee. Keep in mind that if you choose to do this move you must exchange money to make it legal. Don’t just pay someone to go away. You’ll want to talk to a lawyer to get this agreement written for you and to ensure it is legally binding. This part typically comes across as easy for my clients. The hard part is knowing what to say. Since at this point you should have already had plenty of disciplinary conversations with the said employee, a simple “It’s just not working out” should suffice. When in doubt, you should only refer back to each write up as reasons for termination. Your backup should only consist of examples where the employee clearly broke company policy.

BONUS PRO TIP: AVOID PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE RESPONSES AND ARGUING AT ALL COSTS! The point of the termination meeting is to clearly, and level-headedly state all of the facts and to fire sensibly. I’ve seen far too many managers and business owners resort to the disgruntled employee mentality and engage in spiteful arguments and an over-aggressive firing technique. Now once all of the evidence has been provided and the termination is complete, every party present needs to sign the separation agreement. This proves that all parties were in agreement and also provides the account of the witness if needed later on.  

Step 3 – Be Reasonable

I don’t feel like I did a good enough job in step two stressing the importance of being reasonable. For that, I can admit to being a bad business coach. So now let’s backtrack a bit. When committing to the firing process, remember that you are an employer so it is up to you ultimately as to who is a good fit and who needs to be fired. With that in mind, it is also up to you to approach this process with as much logic and strategy as possible. You don’t want to fire someone just for the sake of it as this can result in your reputation taking a hit and could interfere with future hiring opportunities. You want to make sure that you have clearly documented every infraction and that you have all pertinent documents available in order to support your case at each and every firing. Now on to a more controversial idea. If the employee is a good person but is simply just a bad fit for your job, don’t be afraid to pay them an additional week’s wages or whatever amount you feel will help as they search for a new job. I’ve seen Clay do it as a business coach plenty of times and the results are fantastic! Employees actually leave happy and have left numerous positive reviews. Business coach Clay has even gone as far as trying to find the person another job. Keep in mind that these moves might not work for you personally without a little tweaking, but the main thing that everyone can take away from this is to stay sane and always fire within the realm of reason. 

Step 4 – (The Bonus Step ) Don’t Burn Bridges And Offer A Win-Win

Remember, you don’t want the short term victory of replacing a bad employee to outweigh the long term damage that a negative review from a disgruntled employee can do to your business. Your online reputation is powerful when future employees are searching for jobs. Sites like Indeed and Glassdoor are highly utilized, and these sites just so happen to offer the ability for employees to review you. Much like Google reviews or Amazon reviews for the common customer, reviews of a business on hiring sites will dictate who will actually apply for your positions. If the person you are firing is, in fact, a good human being, give them a positive recommendation or letter of recommendation and ask for a positive review on Glassdoor or Indeed. This will provide them with a push in the right direction as well as give you an advantage when searching for a replacement. 

 There you have it, my friends. We’ve successfully danced our way through the minefield that is the firing process. It’s taken me quite a few experiences, both good and bad, to figure out an effective way to go about the best ways to in fact fire an employee. I hope you’ve learned as much with this as I have. If not… well, maybe say a prayer and hope for the best. Until next time amigos!  

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Business Coach | Coach Name

Jason B.

Jason B. is one of the business coaches for the Thrivetime Show. Often confused for a younger Barack Obama, his sheer desire for businesses to succeed cause his clients to say, "Yes we can!"

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