Letting employees go who need to be fired may not be an easy task. There are ways to approach letting employees go that may be more agreeable and respectful. Follow these tips to letting your employees go professionally and to help ease the difficulty of employee termination.

  • Sit down one on one with employees you are firing. Let each of them know why they are being let go. After all, if your employees spent much of their week working for you, they deserve to know why they are being let go.
  • Prepare for the conversation. Choose your words carefully when firing an employee. Telling an employee you are letting them go and telling them in the same conversation how great they were sends confusing signals. Keep the conversation brief. Explain why they are being let go, but do not offer advice on how they could have improved their performance at work. If you are ready to terminate an employee, the opportunity to offer them advice about their job performance has passed.
  • Prepare a packet of follow up information for the employee to help them make a smooth transition. Have forms available for them to apply for extended benefits and information about unemployment benefits. Also, have their final paycheck available and ready to give to them upon termination.
  • If you are firing a long-term employee, you may want to give them the opportunity to resign. Being fired has a great impact and when a person is fired, it is something they have no control over. Allowing a long-term employee the opportunity to resign may help them to recover more quickly.
  • If you are firing an employee because of poor performance, be sure to keep records of the employee’s behavior and actions that led to them being fired. This will make it easier to clearly explain to the employee why they are being let go. In addition, keeping good records of employee performance may help you down the line if the employee decides to sue the company for termination.

Letting employees go is a difficult task. If you deal with the situation promptly and in a respectful way, your remaining employees will likely trust that you will do what needs to be done to keep the business running smoothly. This is an approach that will likely result in the employees who remain staying faithful and productive at work.


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