Did you know that firings and layoffs are at a record low? This is great for employers and employees alike. It’s fantastic for morale and the economy.
With this in mind, it’s still possible that you will, at some point, have to fire an employee. Whether their performance isn’t up to par or they’re just not aligning with your company culture, there may not be a way around it.
We’re here with a few tips that can make the process less painful for all parties. Read on to learn more.
Never Make It a Surprise
This is perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re thinking about terminating a contract or firing an employee. Termination should never be a surprise unless you’ve encountered extenuating circumstances.
So what should come before termination to keep your employee “in the know?”
There should have already been several warnings and notes on performance reviews that would have instructed the employee on how to change their behavior at work. It’s always best to give an employee an opportunity to improve. They may have also gone through a probation period.
You should have clear documentation of any problematic behavior (which will also help if your employee tries to retaliate).
Don’t Draw It Out
We understand that letting an employee go is stressful and that you likely have a lot of anxiety at the moment. With that in mind, you still shouldn’t draw out the experience. This will make it worse for all involved parties.
As soon as you know that you’re going to terminate an employee, start the process.
You should also keep the actual conversation brief. Be transparent, state the facts, and end there. This doesn’t mean that you have to be terse, but you should avoid giving too many unnecessary details or leaving room for an argument.
Remember that even though your (now previous) employee wasn’t a good fit for your workplace, they’re still a person deserving of empathy. Show compassion when you’re letting them go.
Only do this within your personal and ethical ability. For example, if the employee is talented and skilled, just a bad fit for your company, you may mention that you’ll be happy to be a reference for them in the future.
Getting fired is a traumatic experience. Do what you can to soften the blow without compromising your own values.
Do It In Private
No matter what, you should only ever terminate an employee in private. Never let other employees watch. The only other person who should be involved is either someone from HR or another higher-up who can supervise the conversation.
This also extends to the post-firing period. If other employees ask questions, don’t disclose private information. Give simple and vague answers, or no answers at all.
Your former employee is entitled to their privacy.
Letting Go of an Employee Isn’t Easy
Some people think that employers have no issue with terminating employees, but this isn’t true. Firing an employee is stressful, and no employer ever wants to go through that process.
Use these tips next time you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
Are you looking for fantastic new employees to replace someone that you’ve let go of? Let us help you. Contact us so we can start working together today.