Ugh. The worse part of managing employees is letting one go. The excitement and promise of their contribution to the business has dwindled to disappointment and now you’re faced with telling them it didn’t work out.
Equally as important as onboarding an employee correctly is how you navigate their exit from the team. Negative repercussions can be many: legal disputes, damage to the company’s reputation, unplanned costs, to name a few.
But don’t let us frighten you! Making sure you let an employee go the right way is a simple matter of following the steps outlined below. And remember, if the matter is a complicated one, Eos HR is here to help! Our expertise can make sure both parties find an amicable end.
1. Give them a warning –if appropriate.
Always reflect on the employee’s behavior to determine if a warning is appropriate. If they are serious about their work, most likely they will be receptive to your feedback. Feedback also helps ease the pain when you do let an employee go. It gives you examples to reference and it gives them insight on how they didn’t address the problem with their performance.
2. Gather your facts.
When the time arrives to let an employee go, make sure you have all your facts: examples of their performance to draw from or the complete picture of a particular incident that was unacceptable. It is important not only for your own records but also for your employee’s understanding of the situation. The clearer you make it for them, the more likely they will go in peace.
3. Keep it short, empathetic, and allow a few minutes of feedback.
Never a reason to be unfeeling or worse, unkind. But don’t let it drag out. And do let them provide their thoughts but keep it contained. Don’t let them carry on and potentially get worked up.
4. Consider a release.
Another benefit to you both. You could offer them additional severance if they sign it and it can keep you clear of any misunderstandings as to why they are being let go. However, remember this is an optional offering to the employee.
5. Walk them to the door.
Especially if they are exhibiting signs of anger or irritation. Escort them to their desk to gather personal items (this erases any chance they have to damage or steal confidential information) and then to the door. Wish them well.
No matter how prepared you are, firing an employee will remain an unpleasant obligation to managing a staff. However, making the process as seamless as possible ensures you can get back to keeping the business a productive place!