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How to Fire an Employee – 5 Ways to Get It Done Smoothly

It is common practice to fire an employee if the employee is not performing well in their job. When a boss fires an employee, it is most often because both have reached a dead end. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most people average more than 11 jobs in their life. Employees come and go, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes involuntarily. Some are shown the door, while others just switch jobs out of boredom.

Although firing an employee is a difficult task, it doesn't have to be impossible. Here are five tips that will help make the process smoother.
Fired Employee

1. Don't let employee firings be a surprise

Give all new employees that you are hiring their job description in a written format. They should be aware that you will be documenting their performance. Periodic evaluations need to be carried out, and problems should be solved when they arise. Communication matters, and if things do not work out, the employee needs to know well in advance that they should start looking for a new job.

2. Relax without getting emotional during the meeting

Firing employees is a regular process. Hence it is necessary to detach yourself from your emotions. As an HR manager, one needs to be professional. It is not good to be anxious, angry, or even remorseful of the process. To ease the stress, try to relax for a few minutes beforehand so that the whole meeting goes on smoothly.

3. Never cross the border of employee’s privacy

Never let the process of the employee firing become a public spectacle. The employee needs to be fired only within closed doors. That will ensure fellow employees do not interfere with the discussion or even become future witnesses if the former employee decides to file a lawsuit.

One should speak on behalf of the company while firing an employee. Always say “We are letting you go” instead of “I am letting you go.”

4. Just state the facts about why you are firing the employee Never use harsh words during the meeting. Just state the facts. One needs to state the point of discussion, the mistakes that are leading to the termination, and any other final details that the person should know about.

5. Let the paperwork be done after you are done with the meeting Once you are done with the meeting, let someone else in the HR team take care of the final details and documentation. If you don’t have a team in your organization, try to get someone else to complete the final details.

You should be prepared before the employee termination meeting so that there are no loose ends. There should be a just cause for the termination process. Make sure there is a clear case for the termination. Otherwise, there are chances that someone might file a wrongful termination lawsuit. If the reason is excessive absence and time off, then the time sheets should be at your disposal as proof. Also, be prepared to answer questions about the company’s financial condition if the employee is being laid off due to no fault of their own.