Today, I said we should talk about firing in China.
Some companies escort you from the building and never let you say goodbye. They make the workers feel bad if they ever talk to you again. They do this as policy no matter who you are.
I hate that. Guys work hard and are just a bad fit and get treated like trash at the end. Self protection like this is not why we should be in business. But some people you got to be careful. Let me tell a story of how I handled one.
Firing in China Not Wrong if Done Well
I was helping a company and discovered that the Engineering Manager had been secretly turning the workers against the Western owner so he would be forced to let her be the GM. She used threats to keep everyone at bay. I called her to a meeting off factory grounds and fired her politely for them. I also made her a fair settlement offer and asked her to sign. I told her we would send her stuff to her. She immediately called the police. I smiled. The police were torqued that she had called them for this. The police then escorted her over to our building at her demand and oversaw her pack her stuff. They oversaw her signing the settlement form and escorted her out. She had threatened to take all their customers when she left. Nothing like that ever happened though she knew many customers. They were actually glad she was gone. The fears had been overblown. It is often the case.
Firing in China Gone Wrong
I have only heard from a distance of one case of someone actually hurting the business when they left and that was only because the boss emotionally let a guy go without preparing a replacement first. The gap left behind cost them more than it should have. They should have planned and prepared another guy first if possible to reduce that gap.
Monetary Note: You must pay one month severance for every year a person has worked for you plus one more month.
Think Firing in China Differently
Also, regardless of why you are letting someone go, you are not free of them until they sign the agreement to let them go. So it is no use unloading on them as then they will not sign. You will need to go to arbitration where the government will tend to protect the worker. Speak kindly and help them to get to signing and be done.