Have you ever been fired? If so, do you remember how it felt?
Most likely there were a rush of emotions literally all at the same time! There was likely fear, anger, embarrassment, nervousness, disappointment, guilt, uncertainty, etc. In some cases, there could also be relief, excitement, joy and a strong sense of sudden freedom.
How a person might react is hard to predict sometimes, but what is easier to predict is how they might be talked to – during the firing process. Here are some thoughts that may help if you have to fire someone.Whether you are the person being fired or doing the firing, the experience will definitely bring some stress to both sides of the situation.
As an employer, try to avoid these common mistakes:
First, if you have to fire someone – Begin by being completely prepared for the meeting. There is nothing easy about having to let an employer go, so understand that you should be fully prepared to do it as best you can and with a proper plan.
Don’t fumble through the meeting with the employee. Know exactly what you have to say and don’t drag out the meeting.
Present your employee with the required paperwork required to properly complete the process as efficiently as possible. Please don’t force the employee to have to spend time waiting on document that should have been available to him as part of the termination process.
Don’t make comforting statements as they will seldom come out the right way. Don’t try to judge how the employee is feeling about his firing. For example, don’t tell the employee that you know he hasn’t been very happy while working for you and that his being fired just might be a really a good thing for him. This simply makes a bad situation worse.
Never try to justify the firing by comparing the employee’s work history to some other employee who has been more successful with the company. That would be grossly unfair, cold and certainly would be harsh under the circumstances.
Clearly explain to the employee what the company is willing to do as part of the termination. If you are willing to make recommendations or perhaps provide personal references if they are requested, have all of those documents available as part of the exit interview. Why make the employee wait?
Be sure that you let the employee know if you are willing to help with any particular concerns such as final salary payments, insurance or benefits questions, etc. If you are willing, be clear to have the employee know that and be sincere about it.
It is only fair and proper that you be open and clear about the reasons for the termination. If letting the employee go is not a matter of his/her performance, but is a matter of company economics, be sure that you explain that. In addition, show that you valued the work that the employee has provided and be clear about what your company anticipates the employment picture might be in the foreseeable future.
As part of the meeting, don’t being your personal feeling into the discussion or try to convince the employee that you can understand what he is feeling at the moment. Doing that will not help and it turns the attention toward you instead of the employee.
Try not to get into a heated discussion and justifications for the firing. There is a strong likelihood that the employee who has been “goofing off” will clearly know why he has been fired so you shouldn’t have to review details with him.
Some employees will want very much to argue, while others will say very little in their defense. The important consideration here is that you not engage in an open argument about the decision that has been made. Instead of arguing, you can definitely listen to what the employee has to say. You should be as empathetic as possible.
Being fired is truly tough enough all by itself, so in the midst of this horrendous situation, you should make every effort to treat your past employee with courtesy, compassion and respect.
This article was written by SDK Hunter Consulting Group
About The Author:
Sherman Hunter and SDK Hunter Consulting Group staff consultants provide global moneymaking opportunities and proprietary strategies that quickly accelerate business activity. You may familiarize yourself with these unique concepts by visiting the SDK Hunter Consulting Group blog located at: http://sdkhunter.com
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