There are many reasons to fire someone. Maybe they're not a good fit for the job, or maybe you've decided that the company needs to downsize. Whatever the reason, there's one thing you should make sure not to do: fire someone with no warning.
Firing people is never an easy thing to do—especially when it's your own employee. And while we all know that it has to happen sometimes, it can still be a stressful experience for everyone involved if you don't handle it correctly.
So what is the right way to fire someone? There are two main things you need to keep in mind:
Let them know what's happening before you actually do it
Offer them support after they've been fired
The right way to fire someone is to give them the respect they deserve. That means letting them know that you have talked with their manager, and that they are being let go because they are not a good fit for the company.
You should also provide them with an exit interview so that they can share their thoughts on what went wrong and how you can improve your processes in the future.
The right way to fire someone is to treat them like a human being.
When you're firing someone, you're ending a relationship that has been important to them. Even if they've done something that makes them worthy of termination, they are still a person who deserves your respect and consideration. The way you fire someone can make it easier or more difficult for them to transition into their next role, so it's important to handle the situation with care.
First, don't do it over email or text message. If possible, meet in person (or at least on the phone). It's much easier for people to accept bad news when they're able to look into the eyes of the person delivering it.
Second, be considerate about timing. If possible, wait until after work hours so that they can relax before receiving your message or call—and give yourself enough time between informing them and meeting with them so that you have time to prepare for the conversation as well as to collect your thoughts and emotions about what happened and why things didn't work out. You'll feel better about it if you take some time beforehand rather than springing it on someone during lunchtime!
Third, don't sugarcoat what happened or try to make excuses for why things didn't work out.
In addition, it's important that you let the employee know that they are entitled to any bonuses or commissions earned but not yet paid.
Firing someone isn't easy, and it's something that managers often avoid for as long as possible.
But when the time comes to let an employee go, you should use a specific process that's respectful of both the employer and the employee.
Here are five tips for how to fire someone with dignity:
Be prepared. Don't just spring it on someone—tell them ahead of time that you want to talk about their performance or behavior. By letting them know, you can avoid any confusion or surprise when they come in for the meeting.
Give them an opportunity to improve before deciding their fate. If an employee is having problems with their work, give them the chance to get back on track before firing them—you may be able to salvage the relationship if they make improvements quickly enough!
Bring along another person so there are two witnesses during the conversation with your employee—this helps ensure they don't feel like they're being unfairly targeted by management (which happens more often than you'd think).
Don't blame anyone else for this decision—it's your responsibility as manager/owner so own up to it!