The best ways to fire people

The Ticker

May 18, 1992|By Julius Westheimer

How do you let employees go? Inc. magazine in May runs a good story, "How to Fire," beginning, "If you're like most CEOs, you fire people too seldom and too late-- and as a result you hurt your company, yourself and even the employees you take too long to terminate." Excerpts: First off, hire right. ("Are you hiring the right people? Think about the people you've fired. What behavior made those people unsuccessful?") Act on problems immediately. ("Employees most likely to sue are those who feel their firing was unjust, so you must communicate about weak performance promptly.") Document everything carefully. ("Write detailed memos about all your talks.") Take action. ("If employee performance doesn't improve during his/her employment, don't sit on the decision.") Finally, be candid. ("Tell the employee why he or she is being terminated. Have someone else from the company present to witness and record the termination and the employee's response to it.")

MONEY SAVER: "Compared with the ever-rising cost of a sales call, trade shows are a relatively cheap way to reach potential customers, provided you've selected the right show and kept your total exhibit costs under control. If you're spending more than $140 per trade-show prospect, you may be spending too much. On average, 16 percent of any trade-show audience may be interested in your product, but effective 'preshow promotion' can increase traffic at your booth by as much as 33 percent." (McGraw Hill Research data.)

HONOR ROLL: Integrated Health Services, Hunt Valley, is listed in Inc. magazine's May issue under "100 of America's Fastest-Growing Small Public Companies." The firm, which pTC provides geriatric services, showed a compound annual sales growth of 105 percent in the years 1987-1991.

BITS & PIECES: "If your boss bawls you out, shake it off and don't respond for 24 hours. He doesn't have anything against you. He's just protecting himself." (Bits & Pieces). . . A recent BG&E retiree told me, "A friend of mine who also retired from BG& E about 10 years ago with a good pension lives in Florida on food stamps because he didn't manage his money wisely." . . . Conversely, A North Baltimore orthopedic surgeon said, "When I came to this country in 1957 I had exactly $300 in my pocket, but now my financial statement shows I'm worth over $750,000. Only in America can you do that." . . . "When H. Ross Perot builds a staff, he hires the best people he can find. His motto: Eagles don't flock. You have to find them one at a time." (Leadership).

DOLLARS & SENSE: In response to many requests, here is the address and phone number for a list of low-rate, no-fee credit cards. Send $4 to Bankcard Holders of America, 560 Herndon Parkway, Suite 120, Herndon, Va., 22070. For faster service, you may charge the $4 fee to your Visa or MasterCard by calling 1-800-327-7300 . . . Do you borrow money personally or in your business and wonder which way interest rates are headed? LaLoggia's Special Situation Report, which shows a generally good record, says, "The Federal Reserve has lost its battle to bring long-term interest rates down. Current high rates stem from the probability of rising inflation and a soaring 1992 federal budget deficit." . . . Sanford Cutts, Belle Isle cab driver, opens his window and shouts to me, "Tell your readers and listeners that business is coming back; I can feel it." . . . "When subordinates dump problems on you, ask what they've done so far. If they say nothing, send them back for positive answers." (Sam Deep, author). . . "Blue Collar, White Collar Jobs are Vanishing" is worth reading in Barron's, dated today . . . The latest Kiplinger Washington Letter says that capital gains taxes will not be reduced, that auto sales will improve slowly for the rest of 1992 and that H. Ross Perot will probably be on the ballots in all states . . . "I never knew a politician to go wrong until he's been contaminated by a business man." (Finley Dunn, 1890). . . "A banker is a person who is willing to make a loan if you present enough evidence to show you don't need it." (Money Talks)

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