To come to an end is to terminate. And you already know that things don’t get much more difficult or depressing if you’ve ever tried to figure out how to fire an employee. This task is the one that most managers fear the most.
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Furthermore, you should have some reluctance when firing an employee because it is part of what makes you human. Fortunately, there are several actions you may do to guarantee a pleasant conversation.
Knowing when to let go of a worker. Undoubtedly, one of the least appealing responsibilities of a leader is terminating people. This is a candidate that you selected from a pool of candidates, hired, trained, and spent time with. Your company may be affected if you let them depart.
There are several reasons you might need to let go of an employee, including complaints from coworkers, clients, or other employees. Other possible reasons include the employee’s behavior depleting the morale of people around them or visibly and regularly lower productivity.
The procedure was the same for each person:
1. Begin by having a few kindly direct chats
No employee should ever experience shock upon receiving a pink slip. No matter how explicit you are, the person will undoubtedly seem shocked if they are ultimately fired. That is a difficult aspect of the process. But if it’s up to you, be open and honest the entire way. Be kind, but also be really explicit. Too many leaders skirt the subject, enabling uncertainty to creep into what is expected. Be precise. Be kind, but also direct.
Additionally, having a neutral party present for these discussions is frequently beneficial. This person may assist in making sure the communication and subsequent actions are clear.
2. Arrange a meeting with the worker
Establish a meeting with the employee after notifying HR of the anticipated dismissal. Although having the meeting immediately is desirable, it should take place reasonably soon following the meeting invitation if their schedule just does not permit it. Use your discretion if someone asks what the meeting is about; nonetheless, you should respond that you prefer to go into more information during the meeting.
Or, if the conversation will take place over the phone, concentrate on when you will have enough time to speak (we’ll address how to dismiss someone on the phone once we’ve finished with this procedure).
3. Keep in constant communication with the team member
It’s crucial to keep in touch while you try to improve their abilities or strategy. Your presence will demonstrate support and highlight progress.
4. Give the bad news first
Informing the employee they are being let go should be the very first thing you say during the termination discussion. Although it may seem mature to provide too much explanation or lead-up prior to the actual dismissal, doing so might make the termination appear unofficial and give the employee too much to think about after they depart.
Unless fresh, convincing evidence is offered, do not reverse the decision to terminate this person. But resist the urge to dig up this information. You may allow the employee to express their opinion, but it’s rare for it to render the termination ineffective at this stage of the procedure.
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5. Mention prior performance objectives
You were (ideally) following their performance and helping them along the road prior to this meeting, which is necessary for the fourth stage in a proper firing procedure. It’s crucial to properly mention the cautions and advice they received throughout their job when terminating someone.
With plenty of coaching sessions, the dismissal meeting will have been preceded by a “final consequence” meeting where the goals that must be achieved, the timeline for achieving them, and most importantly, the result if the goals are not achieved — namely, the person losing their job — are all clearly stated.
6. Be consistent and to the point
Never engage in a lengthy, drawn-out discussion when terminating an employee, especially if you have recorded their performance, mentored them, and given them regular feedback over time.
The evidence will speak for itself. Furthermore, reiterating your displeasure with them is hurtful and useless. Most employees, according to benchmark studies, will inquire as to why they are being fired. Have a clear, concise response ready to go. Be truthful, accurately state the scenario, but omit the specifics.
7. Avoid using any surprises.
Employees shouldn’t ever be surprised when they are let go. Act with caution and give notice. Make sure they are aware of the dismissal in advance to avoid feeling surprised, which frequently results in resentment.
Therefore, you should never immediately terminate an employee. Instead, provide the employee mentoring and performance criticism over time, unless they have immediately done a heinous behavior.
Record each stage of the procedure for improvement (or lack thereof). Employers have the option to terminate employees if sufficient training has been provided yet there has still been little progress.
8. Start looking for a substitute for them
Only now can you start looking for someone who can take their place with honesty. The temptation for leaders is to retain individuals on staff while conducting interviews behind their backs. This could shorten the transition period between the departing employee and their replacement, but it doesn’t respect the departing employee and doesn’t prepare the successor effectively. Before you start looking for someone else to replace them, make the split amicable.
9. Express your gratitude to the employee and good luck
The final action in a dismissal is to express gratitude for the employee’s contributions. Instead of apologizing, express your regret and desire for the greatest possible outcome in the future.
Even though having these talks might be challenging, I firmly think that assisting people in finding employment success is the most charitable thing we can do for them. If that cannot happen inside our company, it is our responsibility to assist them in accepting that reality and moving on toward a more promising future. It’s not a tacky leadership joke to refer to “freeing up their future”; rather, it’s a compassionate method to put people first.