Having to fire an employee is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of running a business but making sure that it is done in the right way can leave the employee feeling less angry and your company not too exposed to negative feedback.

The first thing to consider when having to let an employee go is how would you like to hear the news if the positions were reversed.  Whatever the reason for the termination, try to ensure that the news is delivered in the most respectful way and the employee should always have some idea that it was a possibility.  Surprising an employee is never advisable even though the temptation might be to get it over with as quickly as possible.  One employment and recruitment expert said that when employees are surprised like this it “is not good for the employee, it’s not good for you and it’s certainly not good for the people around them.”

Performance problems should be discussed and warnings given so that the employee is aware that their actions could lead to a termination.  Even if a business is downsizing or restructuring, the staff should be given ample notice.  A shock firing will only serve to unsettle the remaining staff, which could damage productivity, company morale and the bottom line.

The expert continued “if you see an opportunity to extend to that employee the opportunity to resign instead of be terminated, then take that path.  Give them the choice and if they accept it, shake hands.”

Become a Recruitment Genius

As featured in