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Had to let go an employee today - what a day!

BB13

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Jul 12, 2019
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One of our very hard working and trusted people had to be let go today because our client no longer has work for her. It was such a difficult day for me and I would be lying if I said that I am not affected/dont care/only business etc. Rubbish. I feel responsible, I know her life situation and that she needed this job. I dont know if anyone has been in this situation before? How did you handle it?

Clearly, being an employer isnt fun either(!)

I appreciate that "not everyone" is cut out to be self-reliant, independent, or fast lane, however you want to call it. Just imagine if we all had this capacity - there would be no end to competition. It was a privilege to be able to help someone even for a short period of time but cant help feeling rubbish as I could not retain her. This worker was really worth the job, and more, very punctual reliable, hard working and trustworthy. Did not deserve the redundancy at all, but that is how things play out sometimes.

I will recover from it tomorrow, but today it is only human to feel some compassion. There is a sense of injustice and I probably feel as though I failed because I could not retain her even on a contractor basis - due to not having a back-up client in the same industry. Probably need to spend more time strategising and taking useful action than posting on this forum (!).

Life is difficult!
 

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Yzn

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Is this your first experience letting go an employee?

It definitely feels sad because you're a human, but you shouldn't worry about it. You didn't do any injustice to her. There was simply no work for her so who will you be kidding?

You should look at the brighter side too, maybe she found a better job somewhere else now, or decided to start a fastlane business to have full control lol.

After you do it a couple of times it becomes easier. Sad but true.
 

Jon L

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Letting people go, sucks. Even when they 'deserve' it. It takes a bit to recover from sometimes, as a boss. That's normal.

One thing that helps me is to think about the times I've been let go...Either by a client or by a previous employer. There wasn't a single time where I didn't see it coming. I'm sure your former employee saw this coming, too, even if she didn't let on that she did. If she were smart, she would have put her resume out there prior to being let go. Even if she didn't, she found this job working for you. She'll find another.
 

Vigilante

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If she is that good she will bounce back quickly and hopefully into a better position. Change is usually beneficial. And, at least it is not in the midst of the holidays.
 

Kung Fu Steve

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Being an employer seems to be equal parts "this is my family so I'll do anything for them" and "these are car parts and sometimes they need replacing"

Easier said than done.

As the saying goes it's not the people that you hire that ruin your business, it's the people you don't fire.

Good work and I'm glad you're grateful for the opportunities you were able to provide -- hopefully she eventually feels the same!
 

richardd

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Yeah I've had to do it too. I was consulting on the side at the time, and I decided to take the day off to meet with the employees. We had to lay off multiple people on the same day. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt responsible too. But it had to be done.
 

Monkeycom

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Aug 20, 2019
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One of our very hard working and trusted people had to be let go today because our client no longer has work for her. It was such a difficult day for me and I would be lying if I said that I am not affected/dont care/only business etc. Rubbish. I feel responsible, I know her life situation and that she needed this job. I dont know if anyone has been in this situation before? How did you handle it?

Clearly, being an employer isnt fun either(!)

I appreciate that "not everyone" is cut out to be self-reliant, independent, or fast lane, however you want to call it. Just imagine if we all had this capacity - there would be no end to competition. It was a privilege to be able to help someone even for a short period of time but cant help feeling rubbish as I could not retain her. This worker was really worth the job, and more, very punctual reliable, hard working and trustworthy. Did not deserve the redundancy at all, but that is how things play out sometimes.

I will recover from it tomorrow, but today it is only human to feel some compassion. There is a sense of injustice and I probably feel as though I failed because I could not retain her even on a contractor basis - due to not having a back-up client in the same industry. Probably need to spend more time strategising and taking useful action than posting on this forum (!).

Life is difficult!
Letting go employees by lack of business is probably the most difficult thing I've done in my entire life.
Do your best to keep the others, and be proud to have offered her a job during those years!
 

Entre Eyes

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I can imagine being in an interview and being totally honest....."my last boss loved me but had to let me go".

But the fact is she sounds like a true asset for a company and I hope she just puts herself out there into the market and maybe a great reference from you would be an extra kick.
 

Champion

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Thanks for sharing the experience.

As some of the others have said, you already provided value to her by employing her for that certain period in time.

Besides, you have no idea whats best for her. For all you know, she could find a job that pays twice as much tommorow and being let go could have been the best thing to happen to her.

Best
Champion
 

Vanderbilt

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One of our very hard working and trusted people had to be let go today because our client no longer has work for her. It was such a difficult day for me and I would be lying if I said that I am not affected/dont care/only business etc. Rubbish. I feel responsible, I know her life situation and that she needed this job. I dont know if anyone has been in this situation before? How did you handle it?

Clearly, being an employer isnt fun either(!)

I appreciate that "not everyone" is cut out to be self-reliant, independent, or fast lane, however you want to call it. Just imagine if we all had this capacity - there would be no end to competition. It was a privilege to be able to help someone even for a short period of time but cant help feeling rubbish as I could not retain her. This worker was really worth the job, and more, very punctual reliable, hard working and trustworthy. Did not deserve the redundancy at all, but that is how things play out sometimes.

I will recover from it tomorrow, but today it is only human to feel some compassion. There is a sense of injustice and I probably feel as though I failed because I could not retain her even on a contractor basis - due to not having a back-up client in the same industry. Probably need to spend more time strategising and taking useful action than posting on this forum (!).

Life is difficult!
can you explain what kind of business you are running? Are you running something like a Freelancing company/business?

Dont be mad, if she is like you saying, she will get fast a new job!
 
OP
OP
BB13

BB13

Contributor
Jul 12, 2019
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An overwhelming number of supportive and compassionate responses. Thank you all.

I have quite a lot on at the moment but will make sure that I respond on an individual basis as soon as things calm down.

Just wanted to drop a quick note to say how much appreciated your comments (!).

Apologies and thanks again.
 

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