Firing-Discipline Interview

For this week’s interview about firing-discipling, I talked with Kyle Wright, who is the owner of a lawn care company, CutWright Lawn Care.  This was an interesting interview, because it was for a smaller business. It was interesting to learn of some of his experiences with firing or disciplining problem employees.  Here is the list of interview questions:

  1. What is your process of steps to take before firing an employee?
  2. Who else is involved during the firing process? 
  3. How many steps are involved from first offense to dismissal?
  4. What does your disciplinary plan usually look like?
  5. Do you collect anything from the employee before termination?
  6. Do you offer warnings before disciplinary action or dismissal is taken?
  7. If disciplining or firing someone goes wrong, or the employee responds inappropriately, how would you handle that?
  8. Do you give the employee an opportunity to “defend themselves”? Do you offer second chances based on what they say?
  9. After firing an employee, how do your other employees typically respond?
  10. After disciplinary action is taken or someone is fired, how do you motivate your other employees? How do you keep your other employees accountable?

The main thing I realized, is that there is a more laid back vibe with this business.  It is a small business that started out just with family members running it.  It has grown since this, but still is small.  He spoke a lot of one specific employee who needed disciplining.  It was difficult because this particular employee was his best worker in regards to his performance, experience, and relationships with clients.  The employee’s downfall was getting to work on time.  Kyle really didn’t want to lose him as an employee but knew he needed to take disciplinary action and go from there.  He had already given him multiple warnings (more than one verbal). Eventually he had to suspend the employee.  Suspension finally helped the employee learn the seriousness of being on time to work.  Kyle has yet gotten to the point of needing to fire an employee.

 After the interview, I took away the idea that there are many different leadership styles, and these styles reflect in how they choose to discipline problem employees.  I am sure there would be other businesses that wouldn’t have tolerated Kyle’s employee’s tardiness as long as Kyle did.  However, it worked out for Kyle because he said he didn’t lose his best performance employee and eventually taught him his lesson and had him show up on time after suspension.  

I hope when I am in a leadership position, I will be able to find a good balance of not being too laid back but definitely not too strict.  I think balance will pay off when it comes to the successful running of an organization.

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