All last week, we discussed different facets of hiring employees for your indie studio, keeping employees around – basically, a wealth of information related to the hiring and maintaining of your indie studio’s employees. It’s all good advice, but what happens when you have to fire someone? Or worse: what happens when you have to fire someone that plays a substantial role in your indie studio.
I didn’t touch on any of this last week, but as fate would have it, I had to do exactly this over the weekend. You see, I’m a full time writer for a variety of clients and sites (Game Academy being one of them), and one of my daily duties being the editor and publisher of a blog tailored for business owners. Most of the writers are fantastic, but there was one writer that has been producing some pretty poor work since I filled the role a few months ago. Long story short, the writer pulled a huge bonehead move, I called him out on it, he called me a few choice words and acted unprofessional, so I opted for him to be fired to which he was.
Now, this guy tracked me down on Skype and bombarded me with hateful messages, asked for my phone number on more than one occasion, and essentially pestered me all weekend. I’m a guy that values his weekends too, so you can imagine how annoyed I was. As this was going on, it made me thankful that he didn’t have access to any of the blog’s Facebook or Twitter pages, or worse – access to the actual blog.
If he would have had access, we can only imagine what would have happened. Yet, this sort of thing happens all the time: someone gets fired, they’re disgruntled, and because they had access to their company’s social media pages, they hold the pages hostage and begin posting pretty vile content in hopes of destroying their reputation.
We see this happen with indie studios all the time, too. When emotions run strong and people get mad, it’s way too easy for an employee to ignore their better judgment and hijack the studio’s social media pages – especially if they know they are on their way out. To avoid this from happening to you, take these precautions.
Change the credentials of every account they have access to
You probably have an idea as to which sites they have access to. Once you know, either delete their account completely or change the password if it’s a shared username (such as your Twitter account). It’s a headache for sure as you will need to give your new employees the new credentials, but it’s necessary.
Keep tabs on your online reputation
Depending on how disgruntled the employee may be, you need to use tools to monitor your online reputation. If the former employee begins spreading falsehoods about your indie studio ( and depending on how well-known your indie studio may be) it could cause serious problems for your indie studio. You need to be able to respond immediately to the disgruntled employee spreading lies about your indie studio, and the tools linked above will help you do exactly this.
Above all, be professional
I know how it feels: you want nothing more than to shout a few, choice four-letter words to your disgruntled, rude, and unprofessional former employee, but you need to rise above that. Be professional both privately and professionally. Being professional not only means doing the right thing: it also means eliminating any ammunition that your former employee could use against you. For example: if you tell the former employee to *bleep* off via Skype, what’s stopping him/her from taking a screenshot of the message, posting it to Twitter, and tagging your indie studio in the message? Absolutely nothing.
Therefore, always react like the world is going to know what you’ve said and done (great life advice if I do say so myself).
In the end, not every employee is going to be disgruntled and out for blood. Most of the time, firing an employee will be fairly drama-free and will go pretty swimmingly. Even so, you need to exercise the advice above. It’s a difficult part of running your own indie studio, but it’s a necessary evil all the same.
Have any questions and/or comments? Let us know below!