How To Fire Someone As Nicely As Possible

Firing someone who is not doing their job well is definitely a very hard thing to do, but also it is a very important and necessary thing. Firing someone who is underachieving or just not doing what he was paid to do is very important for any company that wants to thrive and survive. When you are firing people who are not working out, you are showing that you are committed to maintaining a high level of quality in the company. There are many other things that you need to do as a manager or employer – you have to know how to delegate, how to give feedback, how to give encouragement, teach, and make your goals and expectations clear – but you also have to be able to get rid of the people who are slowing you down. If you are serious about running the best possible company, then firing people is an absolute must, and it is part of the job.

It is even harder to lay off people. It is harder because most of the time, they have not done anything wrong – it’s just something the company needs to do for one reason or another – usually a budgetary one though.

Whatever the case may be, it is your responsibility to handle this part of your job with care and to make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Letting people go what you call a necessary evil. However, there are some guidelines that you can follow in order to make the process as painless as possible.

It is very important to do it quickly and not to have any hesitation in your actions. The worst thing that can happen, especially in a lay-off situation, is when rumors and speculation get to the office before you give them the news. If the news of layoffs is buzzing around the office, then you run the risk of morale falling off quickly in the office and your productivity will be going down the drain as well as a result. If layoff rumors start to circulate, you might even see your best employees beginning to seek out new career opportunities out of panic, and you could lose them to another company, especially a competing one in your field. You need to keep things quiet and you must act quickly when you are laying people off. It is best to schedule individual meetings with everyone who is going to lose a job, and to do it quickly. The sooner you take care of this and the faster the rest of the companies sees that the downsizing has occurred and that they were spared, the quicker your company will get back on its feet.

It is also important to know all of the legal ramification that come with laying off workers. There is nothing worse than getting sued by former employees. If the employee feels that they have been wronged, even if they haven’t, they will take it to court – and that is not something you want to have to go through, even if you know that there is no case. You really need to study up on employment law and make sure that everything you are doing is legal – every step of the way.

Also, you need to be prepared for any questions that the employee may want to ask you. It is a very traumatic experience when you are the one getting laid off or fired, and you are going to want answers. Employees that are getting laid off especially, want to know the details behind the decision, because they know that they have not done anything wrong and that they have been working well. Also, they will probably be asking about severance pay, so you really need to be able to answer those questions as well and be prepared for them. If the employee will be compensated in some way for getting laid off, you must know in what way, and you must be able to tell them, because that can being a little bit of comfort into this trying and awkward situation.

You should not be trying to sugarcoat the issue either and you should be lying to the employee in any way. You have to make it clear that the decision is final and that there is nothing that he or she can do to retain their job or get it back. The worst thing that you can do is give them false hope. Every time you lie, you are stepping closer and closer into a place where you could possible get sued. If they are getting laid off, explain to them that the company is suffering and that it is not about the job there are doing. Also, do not make it look like you are the one that is going through a tough time, and do not try to seek pity for your company and your situation. The employee is losing his job and livelihood, not you.

The most important thing is to be honest and not to cause a scene. Discretion is very important and so is tact. Do not get mad at the employee if they get mad at you, it is very normal for people in this kind of a situation to react harshly. Just keep your cool and remain professional.

You can also be helpful by giving the laid off employee some tips about possible new jobs, temp work, job placement services and even counseling groups that help people deal with being laid off or being fired. Also, especially is the person was laid off and was a good worker, it would be nice of you to offer to write a letter of recommendation for them that they can use in their future job searches. It is very important that the firing is not too much of a surprise.

The employees should already be aware of the fact that the company is going through some problems and the final firing should be the last chapter of a conversation that is ongoing between you and the employees.

If the employee is not doing a good ob, you need to tell them early on that they are not cutting it and you must tell them that you expect some changes to be made. If there is no progress then you need to warn them of the fact that there has been no progress and you must tell them that their job will be in jeopardy if they do not do anything to rectify the situation. When you are going step by step in this way, then the termination will not be much of a surprise, and it will actually be the culmination of a long-lasting conversation and series of events, so there will be no surprise involved. The employee had his fate in his own hands and didn’t do anything to rectify the situation.

Of course, this is the case when it’s someone who is not doing a good job for a longer period of time. If the employee gets in a fight or is found to be harassing others at work, then there really is no room for warnings, the termination must be made final immediately. However, you need to know what type of actions warrants a second chance.
Even if the employee is getting fired because there were obviously not doing a good job, you still need to be compassionate. It is never easy to lose a job, even if you knew for a while that it was coming. Even if the employee has done a really bad job and you were really frustrated with his work and having him there, you still need to be compassionate, because it certainly is not easy for him. They know why they are being fired usually, you do not have to be harsh and remind them of all of their mistakes and hammer the point home. It’s just not necessary. You should also give the employee the benefit of the doubt. Do not always assume that they are lazy, lean towards the fact that maybe they are not as qualified for the job as you thought they were, or that they just weren’t ready for such a position. When you approve it in this way, it is a lot easy to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings and allowing the fired employee to leave with their dignity intact.

However, there is still no room to beat around the bush. Don’t try to make any chit chat or small talk – get to the point right away. You need to lead into the conversation with your decision. Easing in to the firing will not soften the blow, it will only make it worse. If you are easing into the situation, they might think that you are giving then an opportunity to defend themselves, but that is not the case, you have already made your final decision, you are just putting off giving it to them. There is no way they can change your decision, so do not make it seem as if they can – give them the bad news straight away.

The worst thing you can do is make up a fake reason for why they are getting fired. Even if you think that the real reason will hurt the employee’s feelings and make them feel bad about themselves, you owe them the truth, and you should not cover it up. Performance issues are always tough to talk about, because usually the employee is giving his all and can’t really understand why it’s not good enough – even if he realizes that it’s not good enough.

If you have done all of the previous things correctly, then the employee will know that he has had a couple warnings and he should be able to deal with the real story and reasons for being fired.

You also need to be brief and to the point – prepare the speech if you have to. Do not enter into an argument or a debate. You have to let the employee know that all times, and right from the start, that this is a final decision and that nothing he says will be able to change that.

Firing people is hard for the employer or manager, but not as hard as it is for the employee, always remember that. However, it is terrible news to deliver to a person, especially if you have gotten to know them and you know that they have a family to feed. However, if you are being fair and compassionate when delivering the news, who will be able to avoid feeling terrible for the rest of the week. Remember that it is a part of your job and that it cannot be avoided.

People who are experts on these types of issues said that it is usually better to fire someone earlier in the week than on Friday. Giving the person a weekend to think about it and torture themselves over it is not the right thing to do. It is best to tell someone that they are fired on Monday so the can recover on Tuesday and already start looking towards the future on Wednesday and Thursday. It is important to always take the feelings and situation of the person being fired into consideration. You should be prepared with a written termination letter and you should let the employee ask questions even if you know that it is going to be very uncomfortable. Also, remember to end the talk with a handshake and a “good luck” at the end. Always remember to look the employee in the eyes and to show them respect as well at all times.
It might sound evil or cruel, but being able to fire someone effectively and being good at handing out this kind of news is actually a very important characteristic for an employer or manager and this is a skill that you must learn and get good at in order to be successful at the job that you are responsible of performing day in and day out.