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An outstanding employee in construction has to meet high expectations. The essential workplace requirements include the skills an employee needs for continuous learning and completion of daily tasks and activities.

When people work in construction, they need advanced memory and problem-solving skills. They should know how to read and understand documents. They should know how to plan and organize tasks when they work independently. Additionally, workers in construction should know how to use technical tools and computer applications to input information or operate machinery.

The typical entry-level qualifications are not advanced, but any business owner knows that their business is as good as their workers are, so they require excellence.

But what happens when someone doesn’t perform as well as expected? Should the business owner immediately let the worker go? It’s important for leaders to keep in mind that the cost of a new hire is significantly higher when compared to training an existing employee. According to a study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, the average cost of replacing a worker is $4,000.

If it’s not absolutely necessary for the business owner to let a particular employee go, they should first go through a few considerations. There are five specific questions they need to answer.

1. Can This Employee Be Trained?

If the employee who doesn’t perform well can be trained and educated to a greater extent, there is no need for the leader to fire him. All employers in construction have a responsibility to provide directions for their employees so they can improve their performance.

If the flaws and mistakes of the worker are not too serious, the business owner can fix the situation by offering a few suggestions and providing opportunities for advanced training.

A performance improvement plan will help the employee improve through adequate steps and time-sensitive goals.

2. Who Will Replace The Worker?

When someone is removed from the team, someone has to take his spot immediately or the entire project will suffer from the gap. The employee needs a clear plan for who would take over the tasks that the empty spot left behind. All day-to-day duties must be covered.

Sometimes the workers that are already there can cover the gap, but that’s not always possible. In most cases, the employer will have to consider hiring someone else, and they have to do it as soon as possible. Having someone ready to fill in for the specific employee as soon as they leave is the ideal situation.

3. Has the Employee Been Notified of His Unsatisfactory Performance?

In case the business owner is sure that they need to fire the employee, proper documentation on the employee’s performance is necessary. It is not required by law, but it protects the employer in case the former employee sues the construction company for wrongful termination.

As soon as the manager or business owner notices poor behavior, they should provide the employee with a written notice about the shortcomings, along with recommendations for improvement. The worker has to realize there’s a problem with his performance; otherwise the decision to let him go will come as a complete surprise.

4. How Will the Reasons for this Decision be Communicated?

When the business owner decides to fire an employee, it’s usually their last resort and they decide in favor of the company and all other employees. The employer has very good reasons for firing someone, so they must be transparent about them. 

If the employer keeps these reasons to themselves, the workers who stay will assume the worst-case scenario. They will assume that no matter how hard the worker tried to meet expectations, the boss was never pleased and they didn’t want to keep paying a perfectly fine worker.

When the reasons for letting someone go are properly explained, the team spirit in the company can remain intact.

5. Are Any Laws Being Broken?

When firing an employee, the business owner has to make sure they are not violating any federal or state laws. If there’s a human resources or a legal department operating in the construction company, the leader should go to those experts for advice.

The U.S. Department of Labor provides very specific terms regarding termination of employment. If the company breaks any of those laws, the employee has every right to seek justice through court. In addition to federal labor laws, the employer should also be aware of all state labor laws.

No matter how hard a business owner tries to keep all employees and help them progress, sometimes firing someone is necessary. Such decisions shouldn’t be taken lightly, so the above-listed questions will help the employer to take all needed preparations. 

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