I think this is the last of the discussion about dealing with employees for a while. I'm burned out on the subject and I'll bet everyone else is too. The thing I wanted to talk about today is the sad day when you have to terminate an employee.
This is about the hardest thing I have ever had to do because, it seems like no matter how intense the "build up" was, the employee always seems shocked. I have literally spent weeks trying to get a guy back on track, giving the benefit of doubt in every way, warning him, sometimes gently, sometimes not so, that his job was on the line. When you have tried everything you can think of to get through and they guy is still coming in late, or not showing up at all, or producing substandard work, you come to a point where you just have to let him go.
I always try to do this in something of an obscure manner, maybe telling him that things are slow or that I just can't carry this much payroll right now or anything else I can think of to allow "face saving". But most guys are aware that they are getting canned and that you are not really saying that.
I have never figured out an easy way to fire an employee and I have none to offer here. It's just one of the unpleasant tasks that every employer has to face from time to time and the best suggestion I can offer is to try to make it as easy as you can on both yourself and the guy you are sending down the road.