Allow me to bring you into a typical situation: An employee is not working at an expected level or is just not a good fit. You have several conversations with the employee, trying to make things work. It’s been a few months, and it’s not getting better — in fact, you think it’s getting worse. But you feel conflicted, because it’s a key position and the person is working on a project that needs to be completed. You have put the decision off for so long now, that the employee is dealing with a death in the family, a pregnancy, or a health issue. Now we really have a problem! To make it worse, through all the time, effort and energy involved in trying to coach and counsel this employee, no one bothered to document the conversations or even recap them in a simple e-mail to the employee. Now what?
Don’t underestimate the true cost of a bad hire: Productivity goes down, morale is low, and the time involved in meetings, coaching and counseling probably is not worth it in the end. Minimize the negative impact on the company’s bottom line: Get rid of the bad apple before it starts to spoil the whole fruit bowl.
Enter HR. Many of my clients ask when and how to fire someone — is it even ok? I like to get right to the core of the matter: What is the company’s intent? I want to know the outcome my client is looking for: Do you want to save the employee or let him/her go? Once I know the direction, I can help the client work toward getting there.
Now the fun part: Who gets to deliver the message? Let HR handle it! Seriously, that’s what we are paid for. All terminations should be witnessed by another manager, preferably the employee’s supervisor or hiring manager. The message should be direct and to the point. Write up talking points and rehearse; ad libbing can get you into trouble. Nothing you can say or do will change the fact they lost their job and their livelihood. Remain professional, thank them for their service and wish them the very best in their future endeavors.
When it comes to severance pay, there are no laws that mandate how much to give. Offer enough monetary “consideration” for the employee to sign away their right to file a claim or lawsuit. My basic rule of thumb for calculating severance is simple: exempt equals one month of salary for every year worked; for an hourly employee, two weeks for every year. Consideration can also be in the form of company-paid health benefits, stock, outplacement services, relocation expenses, etc.
Waste not, want not!…
One way around this is to purchase feminized marijuana seeds. In theory, all seeds in a feminized bunch will be female – unless you buy from a disreputable grower. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell whether a plant is male or female simply based on the seeds.
Telling good and bad cannabis seeds apart is not an exact science. Sadly, you don’t know what’s inside the seed beyond its appearance, so you won’t know what the plant is truly like until you start growing it.
Method #4: The Germination Test
If the seed cracks under slight pressure, then it’s unusable. It’s likely to be past its sell-by date.
The feel of cannabis seeds is another good indicator. Hold the seed between your thumb and forefinger and give it a light squeeze. Don’t apply too much pressure – just enough to test its integrity.
In some instances, you can crack the seed open and see inside if you can’t tell anything from the outer shell. An oily inside with a musty smell means that the seed has gone bad. Similarly, black inside the seed means that it’s fermenting. Again, it won’t germinate in this instance.
Disclaimer: Don’t perform this test unless you’re ready to germinate the plants right away. The water could damage the seed and ruin a perfectly healthy plant if you dry it out afterward.
These seeds should be given high priority for planting in this year’s garden as they will only be less viable next year. Some experts say that seeds lose 30% of their viability each year past their longevity dates. Another way these seeds can still be used successfully is to overplant them. Using this technique, more seeds are planted in a given space increasing the germination rate significantly.
Although still a bit early, many gardeners are itching to begin this year’s growing season. Being able to safely plant seeds outdoors is still some time away, but it’s not too early to assess seeds you have left over from past seasons and order in new supplies if necessary.
In deciding whether to use seeds from previous years, it is important to know seeds’ various longevity dates. Below is a brief chart of some common vegetable seeds:
To test for germination, spread a paper towel on a water proof surface and wet down with warm water, using a spray bottle or some similar spraying device. Don’t make the towel too wet. If water beads up around your fingertip when you press on the towel, it is too wet.
Viability is the seed’s capability to grow and develop. One way to test a seed’s viability, and thus avoid wasting time and garden space if the seeds prove to be no good, is to run a germination test. This involves little more than the seeds, some absorbent paper towels, water, a spray bottle, a plastic zip bag and someplace warm.
Ten seeds are sufficient to accurately test for germination, although you can use more if you have them. Evenly space the seeds on the paper towel keeping them about two inches from the edges. Carefully roll or fold them up in the towel so they are encased in a long, narrow strip of wet paper and slip the whole thing into a plastic bag. Seal and mark it carefully, especially if more than one kind of seed or variety is being tested at the same time.
Place the bag in a warm spot like the top of a hot-water heater or refrigerator, near a wood stove or on a high shelf near a hot-air vent. The most rapid seed germination occurs when temperatures remain consistently between 70 and 80 degrees. Make sure the paper towel inside the plastic bag remains damp during the entire testing period, moistening it if it shows signs of drying out.