It’s uncomfortable but necessary. Human resource professionals are hired to fire people. Sorry, it comes with the gig. I’ve done it and to be honest, a few of them were enjoyable. Sounds cruel huh? Hang on a second, I’m all about the people, if you read this blog you know that, yet sometimes an employee leaves you no choice.
In graduate school, we were taught that a termination should never come as a surprise, but we read, hear or experience blindsides all the time. Shouldn’t be that way, and truthfully I think an employee should sense when they are on shaking ground.
That leads us to today’s HR lesson in termination 101. Here’s how you do it folks. I submit to you the video of one Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson’s termination from the Miami Dolphins.
The dirty back story.
Chad Johnson played wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals for 10 years
In 2011, Chad found himself without a team and without many suitors.
The New England Patriots gave him a chance; he made the team but did not play often or well.
Enter the Miami Dolphins; they signed Chad over the summer, giving the veteran a chance to prove himself as a viable WR in the league. Chad got married as well, to a reality TV star, Ms. Evelyn Lazada, of Basketball Wives fame. That’s a real show on VH-1. She used to be engaged to Antoine Walker former University of Kentucky, Boston Celtic and Miami Heat basketball player.
After the 1st week of Dolphins practice, Johnson was underwhelming and in addition to his less than stellar performance he conducted a profanity laced (however entertaining) press conference. The head coach however was not amused. Then the BIG ONE. Chad and his wife get into an argument after she finds a receipt for condoms in his car. The confrontation turns physical, Chad head butts his wife.
She runs to a neighbor’s house who calls the police. Chad goes to jail. On the day of his release he’s summoned to the Miami Dolphin’s head coach’s office and he gets cut. (P.S. His wife of 42 days files for divorce and a planned reality show based on their lives has been canned)
Some say he did not deserve to be fired. Some say that they think his wife is just a drama queen and gold digger looking for a new payday. I guess that implies she deserved to be headbutted? Some say that what a person does at home in their marriage should not affect their career.
Well there’s THAT then there’s THIS, what you do in your personal life totally effects your career. Drinking, smoking, partying, unhealthy living and the list goes on. Don’t ever believe that your lifestyle is private. The line between work life and home life is fuzzier than ever thanks in part to social media and technology.
Look at Tiger Woods’ sex scandal. Look at Allen Iverson’s undisciplined attitude. Look at Bobby Petrino, former Arkansas Head Coach’s sex scandal. Look at Joe Paterno. Just a few folks whose outside actions and behaviors have affected their careers and earnings. It happens to regular people too, ever work with someone going through a divorce, or how about a medical crisis? It’s very difficult to concentrate on business with that on your mind.
Chad lost his job based on his actions. He was not surprised when he got fired, he knew he was on thin ice already. And Miami did the right thing, the best thing for their organization. I sincerely hope that when you have to make that kind of decision you handle it as well as Miami.