How to Fire an Employee: See Ways to Make the Process Easy : Current School News

How to Fire an Employee: See Ways to Make the Process Easy

Filed in Articles, Tutorials by on January 14, 2022

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– How to Fire an Employee –

No Employer looks forward to firing someone on their team, but it’s an unfortunate reality that a lot of employers eventually need to face. You’ll not have thought much about how to fire an employee until you found yourself within the position to try to do so.  

How to Fire an Employee

Terminating an employee’s job can be a herculean task. There are several reasons employees could be laid off or fired.

Ranging from lack of Integrity, unable to do the job due to incompetence, showing up late or missing Work, Code of Conduct Violations, etc.

10 Tips on How to Fire an Employee

Are you an employer and you might be thinking about how to fire your employee without hurting them? Here in this article, you will see the steps on how to go about it without feeling guilty.

1. Review your Employee Handbook

Every employer should have a formal employee handbook that details disciplinary policies, including potential reasons for termination.

All employees should receive a copy during their onboarding period, and you should have written confirmation of receipt.

Before you begin the process of firing someone, review your handbook to ensure that policies are, in fact, clearly spelt out, and hold yourself accountable for enforcing all consequences outlined in the handbook.

2. Investigate Grounds for Termination

If you feel you’re ready to fire someone, investigate the situation and collect interviews, documents and evidence associated with your case. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case for firing that employee will be.

3. Plan what you’ll say and follow Due Procedures

Preparing to fire someone means planning the difficult conversation you’ll have with them. Practice different ways of saying difficult things until you find the right words to use.

You can actually put yourself in the place of the employee so you can really understand what words would go well with you if you were on the receiving end.

If possible, Invite someone from HR to the termination meeting if possible to give technical information about severance, their final paycheck, or other details.

4. Be Clear and Concise

Now’s not the time to joke around. What you say and the way you break the news is vital when letting an employee go.

Make sure you recognize exactly why you’re firing a worker, have specific examples and convey the right documentation having copies of performance reports, any write-ups and applicable financial forms

Be firm and clear within the delivery of the termination and therefore the path forward.

5. Take Stock of how you feel and keep it in check

Check-in with yourself and process your own feelings about firing this person. Taking time to reflect or write down what’s on your mind helps you separate facts from feelings.

It’s natural for you to experience some frustration or maybe question yourself.

6. Get your Notes in Order

Review your notes from conversations about the employee’s performance. If they were on a performance improvement plan, you ought to have documentation to ask.

Establish a transparent outline of what responsibilities or expectations weren’t met by your employee. Write a termination letter to offer them that explains all of this, too.

7. Break the Ice

State the reason for the termination in one or two short sentences and then tell the person directly that he or she has been terminated.

Use the past tense. Say, “Your employment has been terminated,” not, “will be terminated.” For example:

“As you know, James, we’ve talked several times about quality problems in your unit. Last month’s report indicated that your department still has the lowest quality index.

We have decided that a change must be made, and as of today your employment has been terminated.”

8. Give the Employee Space to Speak

There are several predictable reactions to the news that one has just lost his job. The most common are shock, denial, anger and grief.

Listening to what the employee says will tell you which of the reactions he is experiencing. Your response will be more effective if you know how he is taking the news.

9. Cover Everything Important

Be specific about what will happen next: Pay, benefits, unused vacation time, references, outplacement, explanations to coworkers, ongoing projects, etc. This is one time when you can’t say, “I’ll get back to you on that.”


10. Wrap it up

It’s usually best to schedule the termination meeting at the end of a workday so that the meeting takes place while coworkers are leav­ing. Close by thanking the individual for her contributions to the company.

Walk with the now ex-employee back to her desk and wait while she collects any personal items. Go to the exit together, shake hands, wish her well, and part with both of your dignities intact.

How to Fire an Employee: Things You Should Never Do or Say

How to Fire an Employee

Firing an employee may take you a while usually for much longer than the circumstances merit. You do not wish to speak amiss or act in a way that might make the employee feel bad or hurt.

Listed below are things you should not say or do:

➛ “This is really hard for me.”

Yes, it is… but should your employee care? It may be hard for you, but it’s a lot harder for your employee.

And while you might think you’re softening the blow, consider your employee’s unstated but natural response: “Really? It’s hard for you? It can’t be that hard—you still have your job.”

➛ “I’m not sure how to say this.”

Oh yes, you are. You know what to say. You just don’t want to say it. Don’t even imply that your employee should feel the discomfort you’re going through.

Your job is to help your employee through an incredibly difficult moment. Not you. Cut to the chase as quickly as possible.

➛ “I understand what you’re saying, but here’s where you’re wrong.”

Most people tend to not make a scene while getting fired, but occasionally someone will argue.

Don’t get sucked into a conversation where seemingly every mistake, every performance issue, every objective problem is open for heated debate.

What should you do instead? If your employee starts to argue, simply say,

“James, I’m happy to talk about this for as long as you need… but nothing we talk about will change my decision.”

While that sentence might sound cold, it’s actually a more humane approach. Arguments, especially arguments your employee will inevitably lose will make them feel even worse.

Be professional. Be empathetic. And don’t respond if your employee begins to vent.

Just listen. It’s the very least you can do—and the most you can do.


➛ “You’ve done a great job here, but we have to reduce the team.”

If you’re downsizing, leave performance completely out of the discussion. Firing an employee is quite different from laying them off, so know what the difference is before you have the conversation.

But if you’re not downsizing and just hiding behind that excuse so the conversation is easier for you, then you’re not being honest—and you open your company up to potential issues if you eventually bring on someone new as a backfill.

Never play games to try to protect your employee’s feelings, or worse, to protect your own.

➛ “I need to escort you from the building immediately. Someone will gather your things.”

A fired employee is not a criminal. Nor do they deserve to take a walk of shame.

Unless you have reason to believe your employee will cause an issue if they aren’t supervised while leaving, there’s no need to escort out every person that gets terminated.

Just set simple guardrails. Say something like, “James, go ahead and gather your personal belongings. I’ll meet you back here in fifteen minutes.”

➛ How to Fire an Employee: Allow the Employee To Leave with Company Property

The easiest way to keep employees from leaving with company property is to have them bring specific items with them to the termination meeting.

When you call the employee into your office, provide them with a list of things to bring (e.g., key, door pass, laptop, tablet, phone). That way, all they have to do after being let go is gather their personal belongings and leave.

➛ Give The Employee A Reason to Think The Decision Isn’t Final

How to Fire an Employee

Using weak language in the hopes of “sugar-coating” the termination is a recipe for disaster. Be firm in the language you use so the employee doesn’t somehow think that your decision isn’t final.

Consider opening the meeting with the following words so the employee doesn’t get the wrong idea: “The purpose of this meeting is to inform you of my final decision to terminate your employment.”


➛ Compare the Employee to Someone Else

You should base your decision to let someone go on whether or not they succeed in meeting your business’s standards, goals, and behavioural expectations.

Never make the choice by comparing the employee in question with another team member.

Even if you’re using another employee as a benchmark of sorts, it’s never a good idea to make that known to your employee.

Finally, Preparing on how to fire an employee means planning the difficult conversation you’ll have with them. Practice different ways of saying difficult things until you find the right words to use.

You can actually put yourself in the employee’s place so you can really understand what words would go well with you if you were on the receiving end.

If you enjoyed it, share this article with your friends on social media platforms.

CSN Team.

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