Tips on How to Let an Employee Go

Michele Warg
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There will always come a time when managers will be faced with the task of firing an employee. This is an uncomfortable experience for all parties involved. Depending on the situation, firings ought to be avoided if at all possible. To help alleviate these situations, managers should conduct regular performance reviews with their employees. During these sessions, both the manager and employee should be open and candid. First, the manager should identify the positive work that the employee is performing. If there are any areas that need to be improved, it should be addressed during that time and a plan of action to correct any problems, should be discussed. If the employee’s performance does not improve within a reasonable timeframe and if warnings have been given previously, then it may be time to let the employee go. Here are some guidelines when letting an employee go: • Be sensitive to timing. Some feel that Mondays and Fridays are bad days. Others believe Thursday is an ideal day so employees can discuss matters on Friday and come in fresh on Monday. Firing around the holidays is typically a bad idea. At the end of the day might be a good solution since most employees will be gone and the person can gather their belongings without others watching. • Have a face-to-face meeting. The meeting should be very professional. Reasons for dismissal should be explained but empathy should be expressed. Depending on the reasons for termination, you can offer to be a reference for them or even help them find a new job. • Explain benefits and pay. It is important that you inform them when their last paycheck should arrive and when their benefits will end or if they have the option to continue coverage. • Let them have their say. You can give them the opportunity to have their say. Be cautious since emotions are high. Depending on how they reaction, it is important to try and remain calm. To lessen any rumors that might spread, decide on a timeline and how it will be announced. Reassure your employees that it is always a difficult decision to make and that you wish the person the best of luck in their future endeavors.
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