WHAT’S THE RIGHT WAY TO FIRE EMPLOYEES FROM YOUR AUTO SHOP?
In order to best serve your customers and promote the growth of your auto shop, you need a talented team of technicians, service advisors, and managers on your side. If anyone on your team is not pulling their full weight or going against the guidelines in your employee handbook, you need to replace them with another skilled professional.
Before you can do that, however, it’s important to terminate their employment in the proper manner. But what’s the right way to fire employees from your auto shop? Here’s a look at the steps you must take.
LEADING UP TO THE TERMINATION MEETING
GET ALL FIRING DOCUMENTATION READY
During the termination meeting, you’ll need to clearly spell out why the employee is being fired and complete the required paperwork. To streamline that process, you should have all the firing documentation ready to go, including the termination letter. You should also have copies of any written warnings and statements on verbal reprimands given to the employee.
Beyond that, make sure to grab an employee handbook for every person who will be in the meeting as well. On your own copy, mark the pages that link to your reasons for firing your employee, so you can quickly refer to them throughout the termination meeting.
HOLD A PRE-MEETING WITH MANAGEMENT
Everyone on your management team needs to be on the same page when it comes time to hold the termination meeting. You can get everyone prepared for that process by holding a pre-meeting. Bring in the supervisor, manager, and/or whoever else was in charge of overseeing the performance of the employee in question.
At that pre-meeting, discuss:
● Which team members will attend the termination meeting
● Who will talk and when, plus what they will each cover
● Decide if the employee will be given an opportunity to resign
With all that handled, draw up the employee’s final paycheck and put it with the rest of the paperwork.
REMOVE THE EMPLOYEE’S LOGINS
In the case that the employee doesn’t take the termination well, you want to make sure they do not have any way of communicating with your clients or audience. Make sure to remove their access to:
● Your shop’s social media accounts
● Their company email
● Your shop management software
● Any online subscriptions (Alldata, IATN, Mitchell, etc)
● Remove their alarm code
DURING THE TERMINATION MEETING
BRING IN THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE TERMINATION MEETING
Once you’re ready to speak with your employee, let them know when it’s time to come in for the termination meeting. Keep the tone professional, yet friendly to help your employee feel comfortable sitting down with the management team. Avoid accusatory language and stick to the facts to keep the process amicable and on the right track.
Before you dive into the reasons why they’re being fired, outline what they can expect from the meeting, including who’ll be talking and about what. Then, pass out the copies of the employee handbook. Ask your employee if they read and reviewed the handbook, and then confirm that they recognize their signature on the form they originally signed attesting to that.
GO OVER THE REASONS WHY THE EMPLOYEE IS BEING FIRED
With the handbooks in hand, you will need to go over the reasons why you are firing your employee one by one. Direct them to the correct page and read through the guidelines. Then, discuss how the employee failed to meet those standards, leading to their termination.
Confirm their understanding and answer any questions they may have as you go. Also, reference the verbal and written warnings given to the employee prior to that date, so they can understand what led up to their firing.
READ THE FULL TERMINATION LETTER TO THE EMPLOYEE
After making it through the reasons you decided to fire the employee, read them their termination letter in full. Do not skip any sections or go too fast since you need your employee to understand all the info in that document. Once you’re done reading the letter, give your employee a copy for their records.
OPEN UP THE FLOOR FOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE STATEMENTS
To finish the discussion portion of the meeting, you’ll want to allow time for management and employee statements. Your managers can present any prepared statements they have for the employee at that time. In addition, the management team should thank the employee for their time at the company and wish them the best in their future endeavors. The employee should then have some time to share their thoughts on the matter and ask any questions they may have.
ASK THE EMPLOYEE TO STEP OUT AND DECIDE IF THEY WANT TO RESIGN INSTEAD
If you decide to give your employee a chance to resign, you’ll need to let them know about that option at this time. Then, you’ll want to give them a bit of time to weigh their options and make a decision. So, have them step out of the room for a few minutes in order to do that. While they’re in the waiting area, take a moment to organize the paperwork they’ll need to sign at the end of the meeting.
HAVE THE EMPLOYEE REVIEW AND SIGN TERMINATION OR RESIGNATION PAPERWORK
After about 10 minutes or so, you can ask your employee if they’ve made a decision. If so, invite them back in to complete the meeting. Once they’ve shared their decision with your team, present them with the proper resignation or termination paperwork. They will need to review the documents, and then sign them to confirm their understanding and acceptance of the terms.
AFTER THE TERMINATION MEETING
LET THE EMPLOYEE COLLECT THEIR BELONGINGS AND RETURN ANY COMPANY OWNED EQUIPMENT
With all the paperwork signed, you can have your employee gather up their belongings at their workspace. They should also return any of the shop’s equipment they may have in their possession. When firing an auto repair technician, you may want to help them arrange transport of their toolboxes and other equipment to ensure a smooth transition.
If the employee has a key to the business, be sure to collect it. Consider whether or not you need to change any locks.
ISSUE THE FINAL CHECK AND ESCORT THE EMPLOYEE OFF THE PREMISES
Once all the equipment issues are sorted, you can provide your employee with their final paycheck. Since they’re no longer your employee at that point, you’ll want to have someone escort them off the premises. Otherwise, you’re open to liability issues if anything goes awry during their departure.
SECURELY FILE THE SIGNED PAPERWORK AND OTHER DOCUMENTS
After your previous employee leaves the grounds, gather up all the termination or resignation paperwork, including the signed documents. Place them in the employee’s folder in the file cabinet for safe keeping in case you need to refer back to it in the future.
SET YOUR SIGHTS ON SUCCESS AS YOU MOVE FORWARD
Upon completing these steps, you’ve successfully let your employee go and can focus on what’s next. You can bring in new talent or just reassign duties across your team to eliminate redundancies. The choice is yours.
DO YOU NEED HELP BECOMING A BETTER SHOP OWNER?
If you’re not sure where to go from here, reach out to your trusted auto repair coach at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching. We know just what it takes to help push your business to the next level. We’ll use over 27 years of experience in the auto repair industry to help you overcome your key challenges and achieve great success. You can always count on us to help you become a better businessperson and serve as your personal sounding board as you brainstorm to brilliance.
Want to see if working with us would be a good fit? Give us a call at 580-491-3519.