Dismissing an employee, a difficult task – How to act and what to say

When you are a manager, an employer or a team leader, you can face the difficulty of having a low-performance employee who fails to integrate into the team, to get along with colleagues and superiors, or who has an inappropriate behavior at work. Even when he was recruited in a professional manner, and when you think that you’ve found and that you have chosen the right man to fill a position, these situations can occur, and there are two ways to solve them.

Thus, either you try to offer the employee some coaching programs or some knowledge improvements, or you opt to dismiss the employee if the first option does not prove to be efficient. Firing an employee can be an expensive measure for the organization, and it may cause emotional and financial difficulties for the affected employee. Sometimes, no matter how unpleasant it would be for both parties involved, letting go an employee is required in the context of the modern economy if you want to avoid significant business losses.

Dismissal should not take an employee by surprise

When firing remains the only option, there are many things that employers or managers can do to ease the employee’s transition on one hand, and to avoid putting the organization in a difficult situation, on the other hand. Since the dismissal may incur legal conflicts or affect the employer branding of the organization, the first step in this process would be to make the employee aware of the expectations that the company from him. He must be informed when he makes mistakes, and he must be given the chance to rectify things.

Therefore, setting professional goals and efficiently communicating them should be a constant practice in any organization. The employee should be informed from the beginning about the behavior deviations that are not tolerated within the organization, and he must know the expectations in terms of productivity, and he must be offered some concrete examples of actions that constitute violations of internal regulations. This way, the employee will not be taken by surprise, as it was informed of these rules.

Transparency – The decision to dismiss the employee, motivated by internal records

When taking the decision of firing somebody, the employer must be prepared to provide strong evidence to support his decision. The decision of terminating the employment contract at the employer’s initiative should be supported by verbal or written warnings previously given to the employee, and productivity reports showing that the employee failed to fulfill the objectives that have been set. Sometimes, numbers speak for themselves, and internal records storage can help the employer to put himself safe from possible legal conflicts.

Since it is not easy for an employee to find out that he was fired, he should receive the news in a private discussion. This meeting should be planned in advance, it should take place in a neutral and quiet space, such as a conference room, and it should begin with some words of encouragement from the manager or team leader, who should explain to the employee that this is the best option for both parties.

Last but not least, the decision should be clearly and concisely communicated, without digressions, in a way that the employee will understand that is an irreversible measure. However, he should be informed about the benefits that he will have during the transition to another place work, such as unemployment or compensatory payments.