Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
HUMAN RESOURCES / JUL. 19, 2013
version 1, draft 1

How to Fire an Employee

Every manager has to go through hiring and firing employees. Hiring is widely considered to be the easy part – despite the time and effort required to find the right candidates, while firing employees is largely thought to be the hardest part of having a managerial position. Letting go of an employee is a difficult decision therefore you should always approach it with sensitivity and caution.

Firing an employee is an awkward and difficult situation so it is best to approach it instead of delaying it. The following is an outline of how you get do the deed as quick as possible:

Make the Decision and Stick to it

Firing is not easy, so make sure that the decision you have arrived at is irreversible. The employee is likely to argue and possibly ask to stay therefore you should be certain that you are firing them for the right reasons. Do not do it in the heat of a moment, instead make an informed decision that you can back with evidence.

Prepare your case with Evidence

Letting go of employees should be the last resort for any company as it is a very serious matter. You should evaluate the situation and only fire someone if it is absolutely necessary. Once the decision is made, employers should have substantial evidence, for example: warning slips, proof of poor performance or performance reviews.

Keep Calm and Fire

There is a chance of tears and drama when firing an employee therefore employers are advised to remain calm and not engage in arguments or emotional meltdowns. Maintain a professional demeanor throughout the firing procedure to ensure that you do not lose your cool despite the reaction of the employee.

Do it Privately, but not Alone

Firing an employee often leads to embarrassment and emotional outbreaks; therefore you should respect the employee and conduct the firing in a private office or conference room. It is imperative that you have someone from the Human Resource department or a colleague present so that you have a witness for the records. Outline the procedure that will be followed to ensure that the employee is not left confused and uncertain.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Make sure that the meeting is brief and that the employee is not blindsided. The decision has already been made so you should convey the message in the most nice and diplomatic manner possible. Be sensitive and understanding, yet firm and assertive. 

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