Despite warnings and counselling, employees sometimes think they aren’t actually going to get fired. Necessary as it may be, there is no easy way to fire an employee. It is a difficult situation for all parties involved. Here are some things to keep in mind to make sure you fire someone the right way.
Give due warning
Unless an immediate transgression has occurred, managers must ensure the employee receives coaching and performance feedback over time. Before firing someone, try to understand the underlying issue. If the problem can be solved with encouragement and support, there is no reason to get rid of the employee. If things still don’t work out, employees should be given ample warning before the actual termination.
The most common mistake most employers make while firing people is believing that they need to give long justifications for their actions. It is important to answer all the questions the employee might have regarding the termination, but there’s no reason to reiterate issues. How you break the news is important when letting someone go. Be very clear about why you’re firing the employee, give specific examples, and have proper documentation ready — performance reports, applicable financial forms, etc.
Remain in control
Remember the good old-fashioned way of firing. It helps if the employer remembers that the person on the other end deserves the dignity of an explanation in person. Don’t use an e-mail, or a text message as the easy way out. With the proper documentation and a witness to avoid undue lawsuits, the employer must sit down and talk to the employee. The conversation must never be swayed by pity or an overt display of emotion. The employee may burst into tears, resort to violence, or throw a fit, but the employer must maintain their calm. Assuming that the termination has justified reasons backing it, the law will always be in your side if you don’t defy the proper procedure. Even while setting the terms for the employee to revive their belongings, be mindful of not letting them take away company equipment and information. Be compassionate but not foolish.
Be encouraging and professional
Don’t prepare a speech filled with ridiculous-sounding lies but keep the approach formal. Recommend placement consultants to your employee and offer a fair lead time to give time for finding a new job, if possible. The transition should be made seamless for the employee since a termination, even if expected, doesn’t bode well for people.
End it on a positive note
Firing an employee doesn’t mean you must demean them. It is in everyone’s interest to have the employee move on as quickly as possible. End the meeting on a positive note. Talk about job searching and how placement consultants can help. Wish for the betterment of their future endeavours and emphasise upon the positive contributions they made to the team.
While firing someone is not an ideal experience, it can be made more palatable by using a compassionate yet firm approach. After all, it is someone’s career on the line and they are always going to remember the organization by how it treated them during the last days.