Conflict Resolution and Termination

As with any employment situation there are bound to be some areas of conflict at times between you as the EMPLOYER and YOUR assistant as the employee. Sometimes conflict is due to poor job performance. Perhaps the training the assistant received did not answer all their questions about procedures and techniques that you would like to, or must have done. If you suspect this might be the case, re-train your employee on the aspects of the job that are causing them difficulty. Many times this “refresher course” will solve what seem to be serious problems.

Punctuality is a frequent problem for some assistants. If a pattern begins, confront your assistant. Convey the importance of their timelines to your life. Get them to agree to a timeframe. If they violate that timeframe, let him/her go.

There are other times when an assistant and an employer simply just do not get along due to personality differences. Perhaps the person you thought would be the perfect assistant turns out just the opposite. Before you give you give up completely on the relationship here are a few suggestions to try to solve the problem.

Sample Questions

The following are a few questions you may choose to ask during the personal interview to help choose your assistant:

  • Keep lines of communication open. When conflict arises, it’s easy to shut down. Keep talking, and try to find out the true reasons behind the conflict. The problem will not go away just by ignoring it.
  • Look to your written contract for resolution. A written contract helps prevent or clear up disagreements about duties, salary, time off and benefits. This is another good reason to have a complete, clearly written contract between you and your employee.
  • Bring in a third party to help settle the conflict. A friend, neighbor, clergy person who is objective can often find a resolution that both parties can live with.
  • In genuine differences of opinion, look for compromise.

If all else fails then you must take the responsibility of terminating your employee. The exact method you use is up to you. A face-to-face exit interview or per phone call. You need to discover your comfort level in this situation. Make arrangement for employee to receive final paycheck. A simple statement of “I won’t need your services any more” is sufficient. It is your choice as to whether or not you give the traditional two week notice. Analyze what went wrong, to avoid a similar situation in the future.

It is recommended that you arrange a backup prior to terminating your employee.