The Secrets to Firing: The Bachelorette Edition

by | May 30, 2012 | Blog

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or

It’s our favorite time of year: Bachelorette Season!

It seems like just yesterday, we were discussing the Bentley drama surrounding Ashley Hebert’s season. (In case you were wondering, Ashley is still happily engaged and now living in NYC with her Bachelorette suitor, JP Rosenbaum. The couple actually just celebrated their one year anniversary. Awwwww.)

This season features single mom Emily Maynard who is the former fiancé of Bachelor (Season 11 and 15) Brad Womack. Yes, Brad was the Bachelor for two seasons. Not sure why he thought he’d had better luck the second time around.

But anyways, I digress.  This season is quite different than the millions of others. Why? Mainly because Emily asked for the show to be filmed in her town of Charlotte, NC (instead of Los Angeles) so she could stay at home with her daughter Ricki. (Ready for the tear jerker? In 2004, Emily was engaged to famed NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick. Sadly, Hendrick died in a plane crash, leaving his fiancé pregnant with their child. And now do you see why she’s the Bachelorette sweet heart?)

There is something else a little different about this season. Emily seems to be taking a no-nonsense approach to her eliminations. For example, this past week, she didn’t wait for the overly dramatic rose ceremony to kick off her unwelcomed suitors. She kicked two off before the dates were over! Emily knows what she wants and she’s taking this reality dating show seriously because she has a daughter in the equation (and if you watch the show, you’ll hear her say this about 30 times each episode). She is not only looking for a husband, she is looking for a step dad for Ricki.

While Emily does seem to be persuaded by the show executives to keep certain contestants around for that extra hint of drama (cough cough Kalon cough cough), she is proving herself to be one tough lady. And we approve!

So today, we thought we’d sum up why Emily’s actions are Integrity HR approved when it comes to eliminating incompatible suitors. Just think of the Bachelorette contestants as employees. Emily has the often dreaded job of firing a few “employees” every week. And we think she’s doing a pretty good job. Let’s break it down.

The Secrets To Firing: The Bachelorette Edition

Don’t string people along

People in general get upset when they are strung along and employees (and reality show contestants) are no exception. On the third episode of this season’s The Bachelorette, Tony—a single dad—starts crying on a date because he misses his 5-year-old son. After trying to console him for the most uncomfortable ten minutes of television, Emily makes a “heart-felt” speech about how she wouldn’t feel right to keep stringing him along (and thus keeping him away from his son) when she isn’t sure he’ll be the last one standing. So she sends him packing and he actually looks more relieved to be going to see his son than upset that he lost the love game.

The lesson: Don’t string your employees along. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Employees often get upset if they did something wrong on Wednesday and you wait until the next Friday to fire them. We can see the blow up now! Why did you wait over a week (or even the end of the day)? Were you using me? But another important lesson here is that you need to make a well-thought out decision. Firing someone should not be a hasty decision (unless under very extreme circumstances). As always, you have to find the right time: enough time to think it through, but not too much time. For Emily, ten minutes (after the magic of T.V. editing) was enough time to realize that the cry baby just wasn’t going to work out for her.

Follow your gut (and your documentation trail)

During a cocktail party on the group date, Brazilian Alessandro tells Emily that having a wife and kids is a “compromise” that would force him to change his “gypsy king” free-spirited lifestyle. Nope, we can’t make this up! Emily even asks if he means to use another word (willing to write this off as a language barrier), but he insists that he is using the correct word. So Emily walks him to the door. See ya!

If that’s not a red flag, then we don’t know what is. When it comes to deciding if employees are right for your organization you need to do what Emily did: follow your gut (and the documentation trail). What do we mean be that? Make sure your employee is aware of the rules and the consequences for breaking the rules. It should never be a surprise that you can be fired for doing something. In this case, Alessandro came on the show knowing that Emily was a single mother looking for a husband/step dad. He signed up for it! So she had every right to kick him to the curb when he broke one of her stipulations.

Here’s a tip: Create a “termination” check list that you can fill out to make sure someone has enough evidence against them to be fired. Then, you’ll have the information to back up your decision if it is every questioned.

Get to your point

Emily’s goodbyes at the rose ceremony (especially to Stevie) are always short, sweet and to the point. That is not the time to try to win her back; it is the time to leave with what is left of your dignity.

The same can be said for the termination meeting. You should always, always prepare in advance. You need to provide enough details so the employee knows why he or she is getting fired, but you should not engage in discussion. Remember, this is not a negotiation! If you open up the floor to negotiating, you’ll be there all day. Make your point and show them to the door. And if you want to be like the Bachelorette, you can have cameras follow them on the way out to get their exit interview…and to watch them cry in the limo.

Fire On Mondays

Okay, so Emily doesn’t really have a say on the day of the week that her rose ceremony airs, but it just so happens that The Bachelorette takes over TV for two hours every Monday.

Monday just so happens to be the day we recommend firing employees. Don’t freak out. You can still fire people on other days, but we recommend doing it at the beginning of the week—pretty much any day but Friday. Why? If you fire someone on a Friday it gives them the whole weekend to sit around and stew over it. Also, the unemployment offices aren’t open over the weekend so they can’t even go there to get help for a few days. If you fire them on Monday or earlier in the week, it gives them the whole work week to get out there, go to the unemployment office and network to find a new job. As always, you have to do it at a time and day that is convenient for your business (and that doesn’t string them along). Only you know what that day/time will be.

As for Emily, she’s been firing her contestants left and right. And good for her! When you know what you want, you shouldn’t have to put up with the rift raft. The same goes for employees.

Read our previous blog on The Bachelorette here.

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