Mon 18 Aug 2008
How to Let an Employee Go With Grace
When you run a business, you may need to fire an employee at some time or the other, often at short notice.
This could be an emotionally taxing task for everyone involved, especially if you aren't prepared. Here are some helpful tips to follow when you need to let an employee go.
Give Your Employees Sufficient Time
If possible, give the employee some time to improve their performance.
Inform them in advance that you are not happy with their performance and that they have a fixed time limit to prove themselves.
Be Clear On Your Needs
Explain in clear terms what you expect of them. Then, observe them to determine if they are willing or able to mold themselves according to your needs.
Have a Standby Employee Ready
If you have made up your mind to fire a particular employee, then have a substitute employee ready to take the dismissed employee's place as soon as you let him or her go.
Make sure you don't badmouth the employee in any way.
Get Your Paperwork in Place
You will need to ensure that any employee termination documents are compiled by and signed by the exiting employee.
You need to do this in order to safeguard yourself in case of any future legal trouble.
Don't get personal while letting an employee go. Explain in a calm and composed manner the reason why you cannot let them stay on. Offer a severance package if you can.
Keep it brief and without any histrionics. Ensure that the employee leaves the business premises immediately. A preferable time to do this could be late in the evening or early in the morning.
Choose your words carefully - they could come back to haunt you if the employee is disgruntled and decides to go to court.
Firing an employee is never a pleasant task, but if you pay heed to these tips, then you will ensure that the entire process proceeds smoothly and ends swiftly - and that your business' reputation remains intact.