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Don’t Fire an Employee Like This

Telling an employee that they’re terminated is not easy.  Managers have to come up with a tactful way of saying it without letting their personal feelings drive them to make a mistake.  There is a correct way to handle it and there’s an incorrect way.  Learn the Things not to do when firing an employee.fired1

Over the phone:  In your eyes firing them over the phone means you don’t have to see them in person.  You can say what you feel without looking them in the eye.  Never fire an employee over the phone.  Show them enough respect to fire them in person, and allow the employee to ask questions.

Sending someone else:  One of your jobs as a manager is to do what’s best for business.  You need the backbone to fire someone.  So in your mind, it makes total sense that you choose another employee to fire a person.  They will leave and the employee gets the backlash.  Great idea.  Not.  Don’t choose someone else to fire the person because you are too afraid to fire them.  You hired the person; you fire them.

Lies and false promises:  You terminated the employee, but you want to soften the blow by saying you’re sorry, promising their pension plan is safe and/or giving them a reference for a new job.  Don’t lie or make any promises you can’t keep.  The employee will see right through it.  If you’re not sorry, don’t say you are.  If their pension plan is gone, tell them.  If you don’t or can’t (because of policy) give them a reference, don’t mention it.  Focus on helping the person adjust to the heartbreaking news.

In front of others:  The manager must feel good to stick it to someone in a meeting, a conference call or at their desk.  You embarrassed them in front of the press or their peers (with something to gossip about) and possibly a PR spin at the same time.  Always fire a person in private.  It is no one else’s business that you fired this employee.  The only thing that achieved is running the company’s image.  The same reason is also true for social media.  Firing someone on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter is tasteless.  Everyone can see it: employees, friends, family and strangers.  Not professional.

Text and email:  Technology has blessed us with a different outlet to communicate.  That doesn’t mean it’s the best way to fire someone.  Texting or emailing a employee of their termination is someone who is avoiding the person or is too lazy to tell them in person.  Never try to attempt any of that.

The way it’s handled is the difference between a person who respects your decision and a grudge-holding vengeful person.  It matters and it will determine how many new employees will apply to the job.  For more information on job termination contact us.

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