You have an employee you need to fire. You’ve had performance reviews with them, tried to help them get on track, given them time to change, and made it very clear what the consequences are if they don’t change. However, for whatever reason, the employee is not listening or adapting, and it leaves you with no choice but to fire them. Firing employees is one of the toughest parts of being a business leader, and you’re no anomaly if this makes you apprehensive. Here are some tips to make it less painful for you and your employee:

Don’t Delay

Delaying firing an employee is not good for you, your company, or your employee. Once employees have been warned and given the opportunity to improve, make the decision to act quickly and efficiently. When firing an employee, keep the conversation short and to the point. Tell them they are terminated, when they’re expected to leave, state the cause of termination, and explain any final pay and benefits details. Here is a handy guide for the final termination meeting. 

Help Them Leave Respectfully 

Always be kind to your employees, even after you fire them. A former employee can still be a good advocate for your company. If possible, respect employee wishes with regard to saying goodbye to their co-workers. Don’t talk about the details of the termination with other employees. Dispel rumours when appropriate and emphasize that the exiting employee was treated with respect

Protect Your Company

Some employees may lash out when being fired. To limit potential liability, have a witness in the room (preferably a member of HR or management) when you fire an employee. Consider firing employees early in the week, as that prevents a weekend of anger buildup before they can begin looking for a new job. Also, unless there is any pressing reason to keep the employee for a few days, have the employee leave the workplace immediately. Give them time to collect their things, with someone escorting them to make sure they don’t take anything from your company that might be harmful to you. 

Have open conversations about why you chose to fire certain employees with your teams. Make sure you aren’t disrespectful of any employees you fire, but be willing to answer questions. Once an employee is fired, let others on their team know how you plan to replace them or reassign their work.

Use these tips the next time you find yourself needing to fire an employee. Also, reach out to Helpside for advice, forms, and best practices.