• Ben

How to Fire Someone the Right Way

I am writing this assuming you are a normal person who cares about feelings, and this employee hasn’t murdered anyone in your business. (fingers crossed)

if you are these things and there is no murder (ok the murder is my way to be slightly funny) by all means read on.

Turns out, there is a right way and a wrong way to let an employee go.

nobody is going to be happy, but the job has to be done. Lets start by talking about the do nots. There is a difference between what you do and how you do it. A friend of mine recently confided that his boss fired him over text after a year and a half of solid work. (This is a do not) It shows lack of confidence on your part, and quite frankly really bad form. If this is your go to firing hack, my recommendation that you should not be a boss, maybe take a job as bartender on some tropical island.

To clarify; don’t fire someone over text or email. Show your employee the least amount of dignity by doing it in person. Also look them in the eye, have respect for your decision, yourself and the person who has given their time to you.

Second: do not is lie about the reason you are firing them. It will come out and trust me, will bite you in the butt.

Third: Do not let fear or anger take over, remember your leadership role. Do not insult the employee, if needed state true facts with resources backing up your decision.

There is no reason to go into to much detail, it will give the person being fired a chance to retaliate. Which in turn will make the experience even worse.

There are three stages to firing someone.


2. conversion

3. aftermath

  1. talk to an employment lawyer. Or notify an HR representative. Prepare yourself. Perhaps write a letter stating the facts. You need to give your employee a sense of finality and a predictable experience.

  2. don’t apologize: be humane and express sympathy, but also (again) look them in the eye. Show your human compassion.

  3. bring tissues, but hide them until needed. (do not miss this step)

This should be common practice in any workplace, but it needs to be said...

Do not bad mouth the employee. Is shows the other employees you are not someone to be trusted.

AND for the love of all that is holy, do not bad mouth that employee to your clients. (Insert lawsuit here) this is one of those rules that will break a clients trust in you immediately.

people need bosses, so firing is a major part of taking a leadership role. Establishing yourself as a boss, be someone assertive, confident and compassionate.

Be direct, keep it short.

learn from this experience, be a better leader, help your next employee, show compassion, but be firm in and prepared with your delegation. Shake his hand, show humanity and.....

Don't forget the tissues.


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