How to Fire an Employee

Firing an employee is almost as awful as being the one fired (unless you’re a big meanie!). Sometimes, though, it has to be done because an employee is simply not a good fit for your company.

Here are a few ways to make it go as smoothly as possible:

1. Make sure you abide by all applicable laws. If you’re in the US, here is a good article to review before firing someone, but keep in mind that individual states also have laws that might apply. If you’re in another country, be sure you know your country’s specific laws.

2. Don’t fire in anger. Yes, your employees can be exasperating, but firing someone on the spot in anger can lead to oodles of problems. Have a plan and be methodical about the termination process. You’re more likely to avoid lawsuits and a bad company image.

3. Treat the departing employee with dignity and respect. No good can come from having an angry former employee spreading ill will about your company. Beyond that, treating someone properly is simply the right thing to do.

4. Similarly, keep in mind the power of social media. If you treat someone horribly during the process of letting him or her go, it’s likely the angry and disrespected employee will vent on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. It won’t take long for the internet to buzz about how terrible you and your company are.

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5. Make sure you have a witness in the room. That way if there is any legal or social question about what you did or did not do, you will have a witness to support the truth. It will also help keep the departing employee calmer and more rational.

For more tips on how to fire an employee, please go here for a great article in Entrepreneur magazine.

Have you ever had to fire an employee? What was it like for you? Please leave your comment below and be sure to sign up for my mailing list (no spam!) at the top of this article.

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