You’re Fired

Last week I had the unfortunate opportunity to terminate an employee who was working for me. The good news is she was only an intern and had no impact on the company; but the bad news is I ended her chances to work with the company. The question that one may ask is what could any person do wrong to be “fired” by any company.

Let’s start by understanding the term of employment, in any companies. The term that I am describing only applies to general companies that are not specific regulated or any government agencies that require certain “supervision”. Most companies use what they call “voluntarily” employment – meaning that both sides of the parties (employer and employee) made an agreement to work for each other with both benefits from each other. The “voluntarily” also means that both sides could and would terminate the employment agreement at will. Of course, in today’s employment law employees usually get the most protection.

So the question is when does an employee get terminated and why? There are several reasons and for most seasoned people who have been employed for many years would understand. For recent graduates who just started in the workforce, read on.

Do Not Break the Law

Every living things in this world are entitled to be protected by the law where they reside. The law that I’m referring to covers myriad of subjects. That could be from common laws to business laws. A company exists to increase the asset of its books. This includes increase in revenue for the owners and shareholders (if it is a public company). No company exists as a welfare; even a non-profit organization needs certain income to operate. To be able to operate positively, the company must follow the laws as set forth by the government. This is particularly true for banks. Banks could potentially have thousands of laws and statutes that they have to follow. Breaking any of the law could potentially put the business in jeopardy. Having said that employees must abide by the law – breaking anyone of the law could have serious consequences including termination. For example, one of the most critical law today is ant-money laundering. Do not mess with it.

Follow Company Policies

Each company requires multiple policies where it operates on. The policies are “internal law” the company must follow. For example, some companies have policies on travel and entertainment. Banks may have policies on trades. The policies are intended to prevent the banks from breaking the laws (see above) and companies expect every employee to follow. These policies are usually communicated to the employees when they are first hired. In some policies they state that not abiding to the policies could subject the employees to termination if the offence is serious enouth.

100% Commitment

When an employee is hired, he or she is expected to invest time in performing the role that he or she assigned. The first day of work usually involves explanation of roles and responsibilities. Then expectations are communicated. The reasons I terminated the employee were mainly due to her performance. The first day she was hired, she failed to come to work on time. For the 5 months she worked, not a single day that she was not late. To add to that she would disappear in the middle of day for several hours without informing anyone. Finally, when work was assigned to her it would take her several days to complete.

Do Not Take the Job Lightly

Everyone should perform the tasks assigned should feel like your life depends on it. Any work that was given should be done 100% to our ability. Doing halfway and expect others, especially the supervisors to agree, will not cut it. Imagine a cashier accepting money but did not count it properly the company may lose money because if it. Using my work as an example, I am tasked in summarizing data for the board members. I ensure all my work is checked and completed correctly and accurately because any errors on my part could potentially cause problems for the management and could also effect someone else employment. The employee I fired did not feel that she need to put in the effort even though I warned her the importance of the work. Not only her work was lackluster, it contains errors too which required additional work on my part.

There are other minor things that I did not list here that everyone should consider. However, most employers are more lenient when it comes to minor offences and would not consider termination as the last resort. If an employer needs to terminate an employee, there should be just cause for the action as employment law is usually lean on the employee side more than the employers. Regardless, if employees want to ensure continue employment, they need to ensure the 4 points above are considered.


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