How to fire an employee without hurting their feelings
This is one of the most challenging decisions to make as a business owner
Then this article is what you need!
This article will find 5 powerful techniques to fire your employee without causing any emotional disorder.
Fortunately, each technique is from management experts who have successfully adopted it in their different workplaces, which means they are highly effective.
Let’s get started!
HOW TO FIRE AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT HURTING THEIR FEELINGS
Try these out:
1. GIVE THEM TIME TO CHANGE
Provided you’ve never spoken with your employee about his performance or behavior before deciding to fire him, don’t proceed with the decision yet!
Firing an employee without prior warnings is not fair enough, and it will surely hurt their feelings since it’s coming as a surprise.
The only few cases you should fire without prior warnings are, for instance, when there’s a sudden restructuring or other unexpected transformation within your company.
Therefore, before firing an employee, make sure you sit him down and tell him the certain behaviors he needs to change or the specific areas he needs to improve upon. You can as well suggest some action steps he can take to improve.
If he refuses to change or improve as expected after discussing those things with the employee several times, you can proceed with the employment termination process.
Giving an employee enough time to improve before firing them will satisfy your conscience. Such an employee will have no course for crying foul play [although some might still resort to it to defend themselves].
2. CLARIFY WHY
The employee in question deserves an explanation about the exact thing that led to the termination of his employment.
So, make sure you give a specific reason for your decision and understand that the decision is final; there is no going back.
Additionally, if you don’t want the meeting to become elongated than expected, it is recommended you avoid pointing out the several faults or misdeeds that led to your decision.
The reason is that the employee himself will also try to defend himself by giving some defensive points, and may even result in a heated argument.
3. PICK THE RIGHT TIME AND PLACE
Never, for any reason, try to fire an employee in any other way than in a face-to-face meeting; it’s humiliating, demoralizing, and makes you unprofessional.
Aside from that, the other employees in your firm may even lose respect for you since you are not bold enough to fire in person.
Therefore, if you want to fire an employee without hurting their feelings, you must schedule the meeting for a particular place where other employees will not be able to listen to your conversation.
This will give the employee some sense of privacy in question, and they will feel less ashamed of themselves, unlike if the discussion is made in public.
However, when going for the discussion, you need to prepare yourself for various levels of shock, anger, shame, or humiliation because they are almost inevitable in scenarios like this.
4. KEEP IT RESPECTFUL AND BRIEF
The plain truth about any termination discussion is that no employer or employee wants it to be longer. Therefore, you need to be brief and respectful while providing a reason that led to your decision.
Additionally, you need to be straightforward in the meeting and let the employee know it’s the final decision.
Don’t say I’m sorry. Instead, you can say something like: Remember, we’ve spoken together about your performance several times.
But yet we couldn’t find a significant improvement, and for this reason, we’re terminating your employment, effective immediately.
After saying that, you can then talk about his last pay and benefits if he’s eligible for it. Provided the employee asks you some questions, reply respectfully and briefly, but the conversation should be a very brief one to avoid heated arguments, ideally 10 or 15 minutes.
Again, if you sense that the employee is getting very upset and is delaying the discussion, don’t engage in a heated argument with them, rather listen respectfully to them and then make every effort to close the conversation as soon as you can.
The level of clarity of the reason for the termination, the fewer questions they are likely to have, which will also help with brevity.
5. RESIST AN ARGUMENT
The plain truth is that no matter how respectful or sincere you are with the firing process, there is a high tendency that the employee will become angry and defensive. The reason is that he is fully aware that jobs are very scarce out there, and thus hell keep raising numerous defensive points to reverse your decision.
At this juncture, human nature will tell you to start proving yourself right by pointing out all the misdeeds of your employee, but never attempt to meet that hostility with more hostility or provide evidence that you are right. You will only be pouring salt into that wound, and the whole discussion may become heated.
Another reason you should not engage in any argument with the employee is because no matter how terrible his performance is, he’ll never believe he should be fired.
This means that regardless of how hard you try to prove yourself right, you can never convince him to share the same viewpoint with you; therefore, make sure you resist the urge.
So, how can you resist argument in this kind of situation?
Whenever you notice the employee is displaying some anger or blowing hot, don’t start pointing out his misdeeds or defend yourself with other claims.
Instead, you should respond to him respectfully and in a simple, straightforward sentence. For instance:
I’m sorry you feel that way; this decision is final.
Although there is no perfect way to fire an employee without hurting their feelings, you can reduce it to a significant extent simply by using some of the above techniques.
I would love to hear from you soon!