Firing an employee is not an emotional knee-jerk reaction. It is a process most companies have strict rules about. Yet, my experience is that firing someone still causes a great deal of consternation and anxiety.
Here are some questions to consider:
- What is the purpose of firing the individual?
- Are you clear about the reasons for firing this person?
- What are the benefits?
- Do you foresee any problems?
- What emotions could this situation evoke in the individual? What emotions may this situation evoke in you?
- Can you wait 24 hours to process your emotions before making a decision?
- Do you feel confident that the individual has been given opportunities to succeed elsewhere in the company?
- What is your relationship to the employee; are you the right person to do this?
- Can you tell the truth, maintaining your integrity and their dignity?
- What exact words will you use?
- How will you communicate the event to the rest of your team?
It’s important to remember that although letting an individual go may be the right decision, it is their livelihood they are losing. Approach the situation in a way that acknowledges the individual’s effort and time spent within the company, and have respect for their emotions and privacy.
If this is something you struggle with as a leader, I am happy to assist in this area. Likewise, if you have additional comments or insight to share with me, I would really appreciate your input.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation today!