Keep around or fire?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by S9567, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. S9567

    S9567
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    I'm the owner of a small business (very small, 3 people). I recently brought my two contractors on as employees after paying them as contractors for a year. A month later one of them asks for a raise, then informs me that he's planning on going back to school in about two months. Yes, in the same sentence. He hadn't been officially accepted, but wanted to let me know.

    My original plan was to keep him as an employee until he went back. Then, put him back to contractor status and give him work as-needed. I started setting up interviews and preparing to transition his projects to somebody new. I informed him that he would not be getting a raise and needed to know what his last day in the office would be.

    I then receive an email and he tells me it turns out he may not be able to start in two months like he thought and now it may not be until next spring or fall. So far he hasn't told me either way.

    What do I do? Stick with my original plan? Keep him on as an employee until next spring or fall? Obviously his interests are no longer with my company and productivity has been slowing down, etc. Who's to say he won't change his mind again or go back earlier than he's telling me? I feel like at this point, with the flip flopping, I can't rely on him to be here for another 6 months and if I need to replace him in 6 months why not just do it now? Are there any unemployment implications I'm not thinking of if I put him back to contract in two months? I doubt I'll be able to give much if we find a suitable replacement anyways.
     
  2. falconator

    falconator
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    If it was me I would replace him. Like you said his interest is not with your business and with a company that small you need people that are going to stick with you.
     
  3. Success Happens

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    Sounds to me like you need to communicate much more openly with him. Also sounds like he enjoys working for you (and I don't hear you saying he isn't ok) but school is something that is a priority for him. A good employer always supports his employees need to further educate themselves - especially because it can be to your advantage in the long run. Many businesses actually promote education.

    In your situation, I would make a plan of action that would BEST suit my business needs with at least 3 options - one of those options being; can he work part-time while he is in school (especially if you are slowing down). Then I would sit him down and explain your position. Provide him your options and allow the conversation to end in a firm decision that you will both be happy with.
     
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  4. StewardHill

    StewardHill
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    I'd keep him around while looking for a new and more dedicated replacement. SOME work being done is still better than none and for that reason I'd let him in until a suitable replacement is found.
     
  5. sigma

    sigma
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    I will always choose the plan with low variation. I personally will give up the original plan and go to the new plan because i doubt that this guy will telling me another story after few days, or he wanna leave in a month because of blablabla.....This kind of issue is actually out of control, then you may need to keep changing your plan.
     
  6. Mark T

    Mark T
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    Possibly a good move. Since you are yet just 3 - then support them as they support you and your business. Just make a plan on how things will or should work out when he gets back to school or not.
     
  7. S9567

    S9567
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I'd just like to make clear a few more details. First, the person in question is going back to school for something totally unrelated to the type of business my company does (we are a web development company). They also made the comment that they'd like to continue working while attending school (which is located 4 hours away) so they can afford tuition and rent. I certainly support continuing education, but in this circumstance their education doesn't support a career path with us.

    Also, because of the type of business we do, projects take 3 months to complete and often require quick response times. So, it's not an easy thing to switch projects from one person to another and additionally, if they were to work remotely we would be unable to give them new projects and it would leave a huge hole in our support since they would be working irregular hours.

    Just trying to determine the benefits of keeping them on to sustain short term production vs. replacing them now for a long term solution. We'll be affected either way and I tend to think biting the bullet now would benefit the company more overall....
     
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