Firing an employee is one of the worst job duties of any manager. Generally managers or employers procrastinate and perform the job duty of relieving an employee of their job as the very last duty of the day or the first task early morning the next day. We try our best not to look the employee directly in the eye when performing this task.
The employee generally knows when they are going to be let go. They usually have an idea from their performance evaluations, meetings with management regarding major incidents which have occurred or job duties have been gradually handed off to other employees. Something generally gives them a hint their job is in jeopardy long before being told of their last day with the firm. There is no reason for a harsh release unless the employee makes it so by their actions.
As a manager, your job is to remain as professional as possible when performing your duties. You must remember all legal requirements of your state. In addition to the requirements, if the employee decides to contest being fired, you must make sure you have documented everything so you are not left holding the bag. Your actions definitely do not need to add fuel to the fire. With necessary documentation, maintaining a professional demeanor throughout the entire ordeal and having a second managerial employee in your meeting as backup, you should have all the proof needed if the employee decides to take you or your company to court.
Firing an employee must be done as professionally as possible. Discuss the discharge as carefully as possible. Add a little heart to the process. Make sure to be as compassionate as the situation allows attempting to leave the individual with a shred of dignity.
There is no easy way to terminate an employee especially during our present economical times. However, following the steps below may ease the burden and lighten the task in addition to helping the employee save face and shed as few tears as possible:
Prepare Notification of Termination Memo
A memo notifying the employee of the last day of employment is vital in the termination process. It provides the reason for termination in addition to the steps to follow if they would like a hearing after termination with the Human Resource Department. In some states, the employee has the right to a post termination hearing. Whether or not their termination will be affected by this is questionable, but they at least have the opportunity to be heard.
Schedule a Time to Meet
Schedule a time to meet with the employee to deliver the Notification of Termination in addition the meeting will be used to inform the employee of time allowed to pack. At that time, they will be escorted from the building. Most companies have this done at the end of their work day to avoid embarrassment. An escort is also required to guarantee the employee packs all their items and nothing belonging to the company plus guarantees no damage is done to company property.
Meet with Employee
At the scheduled time, call the employee and invite them into your office for the meeting. When the employee arrives, be waiting at the door. Offer the employee a seat and something to drink. When seated, begin with a little small talk, something about the weather is suggested. Never indulge in too much small talk. Get right to the point and pass the Notification of Termination to the employee. Allow them quiet time to read the notification. After they indicate they have finished reading, ask if they have any questions. If they have any, entertain their questions. When finished, If a signature is required, have the document signed and a copy ready for the employee. Offer any additional information you wish with a sincere, genuine wish for future success. After the meeting is over, advise them of the escorted removal of all personal items from their desk. Have the escort waiting at the door.
When the meeting is over and the process is complete, finalize all steps required by Human Resources.