Firing with Grace – Tips for Termination
Terminating an employee is never easy. In today’s blog post we introduce three tips for firing an employee with grace and professionalism.
Three Tips for Firing an Employee Professionally:
1. Be clear, prepared and purposeful: Firing someone is not something that should be done over the phone or in an impersonal email; schedule a face to face meeting and be prepared to answer some questions. You must be ready to convey the reason for separation to the employee in terms they will understand while still maintaining your professionalism. Monster.com has some good tips for preparing your conversation here. Although prior warnings and discussions may have occurred surrounding the topic, some employees are still caught off guard when their employment is severed. Have a message prepared before you go into the meeting and understand that your preparation will aid in making the tough conversation a bit easier. Scheduling time to go through a prepared speech with your Human Resources professional will ensure that you are providing the correct balance between providing information to your employee while safeguarding against litigation. Often HR will attend the meeting in conjunction with you when asked. Consult with HR and/or your legal department to practice your presentation.
2. Don’t be angry: We understand that as a manager, your work and the performance of your employees is important, but keep in mind that firing someone while emotionally aroused and angry can do much more harm than it would do good. Firing needs to be well thought out and done with a level head. If you are angry with the employee, wait to terminate them until you have cooled down and can have a calm, collected and professional discussion. Do not engage in conversation, debate or details related to the why behind the decision. This type of conversation is not beneficial for either party and can enliven feelings of resentment.
3. Be compassionate: It is especially important to understand that being fired is a humiliating and emotionally trying experience. Regardless of the reason behind the termination, empathy will help lessen the blow. Courtesy and compassion shown to employees during the firing process can make all the difference. A termination will affect you, the employee in question and the other workers in the department.
No one likes firing an employee and it may very well be one of the hardest things a manager has to do, but keep in mind that how you prepare for the situation will undoubtedly set the tone for the outcome. Good luck!
Menlo Partners Staffing provides temporary staffing and direct hire, contingent recruitment services for roles within accounting, administration, finance, human resources, marketing and operations. Contact us today by phone at 650-752-6193 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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