I made the choice to take the pay out of their paychecks for the stolen wages, I then gave them both their final paycheck and released them from employment with our company. (aka fired them both.) They both were fired right before thanksgiving and I think it was harder on me than it was for them. I did make it clear that this was an opportunity for them to make some shifts in their lives. And if I ever heard about them in another circumstance like this I would give my evidence to the attorney’s.
I can appear to be hard on people and have heard I am pretty tough. That is the face of my kind of business. I have to be tough to stay in business. This is a male dominated profession and I have to be me and be willing to play at the same level as the men in this profession. When you are in business and manage employees you have to put your personal feelings aside and make the right business decisions even at the price of not being liked. Every year since that Thanksgiving week that couple comes to mind. I have a moment when my inner critic will say to me “You fired them right before Thanksgiving – How could you?” Then I remind my critic that it was one of the hard choices but it was the right choice!
You will make some hard choices while in business. They may sting when you do make them and your inner critic will pop up from time to time and it will be your job to quiet that critic down. However, if you are paying attention to what is best for the business they will be the right choices. You will get though not being liked. Know that sometimes being the business owner is a thankless job. No employee has ever come and said “I am so glad you started this company and keep working on improving it for me” usually you will hear things like “how could they change that on me” or “no other company that I worked for did this”. Remember that no one else in your company is in your shoes. Get the best possible support from your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Small Business Administration (SBA), Chamber of Commerce and a great attorney.
I still enjoy Thanksgiving and it is still my favorite holiday. I think this experience has helped me to be more thankful for the people getting it right around me and the business. It has helped me to see that we all make mistakes and to make sure to have checks and balances in my business. You may have to make the hard choices and you can enjoy the lessons along the way for doing what is right.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and be thankful that you can make the right choices even when they may be hard. Be blessed during this holiday season.