5 Tips for Firing an Employee the Right Way

It’s never easy firing an employee, even if they were an awful worker. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but when you work in management, it is something that you may find yourself needing to do. Firing someone the “right” way is important; it can help prevent hostility, awkwardness and other negative consequences resulting from the firing.

Think It Through & Prepare
It’s important not to fire an employee in the heat of the moment or when you’re having a bad day. Be sure, when you’re thinking of firing an employee, not to do it out of anger or stress. Think it through and consider how you will tell the employee. If you aren’t solely responsible for hiring or firing employees, you may need to discuss firing the employee with other members of the management team, prior to telling the employee.

Do It Privately
This should go without saying, but when you fire an employee, do it in private. Call the employee to your office, or a private area where the two of you can speak. This will help spare the employee the embarrassment of being fired in front of his or her colleagues, and will prevent them from becoming angry with you for embarrassing them.

Be Clear, Direct & Avoid Making it Personal
When you fire the employee, be sure to be clear and direct with the employee for the reasons they are being fired. Do not make it personal and take special care not to focus on the employee, but rather the actions they employee carried out, and if possible specific examples. For example, instead of telling the employee that they are “unreliable and always late,” let them know that your company has a policy on tardiness and although you understand things that are out of the employees control can contribute to tardiness, his or her tardiness has become excessive. You can include the amount of times the employee has been tardy, or provide the employee with the specific dates they were tardy.

Wait Until You Have the Employees Paycheck In Hand
Many companies make it standard procedure not to fire an employee until they have the employees last paycheck in hand. Some companies may suspend an employee and then call them in when the paycheck is available and fire them when they come it. This can be beneficial as the employee won’t have to come back later, after they’ve been fired, for their last paycheck, which could be awkward or tense for the employee and the employer.

Offer to Reference for Good Employees
Sometimes an employee is a good employee, but simply a bad fit for the company. This type of firing can be especially difficult to carry out. When you find yourself needing to fire an employee who just isn’t a good fit for your particular company, offer to let them use you as a reference when they begin to look for work again.