The Absolute Worst Ways To Fire Someone

Your employees are what make your company successful. If things aren’t working out with someone on your team, you have to make the tough business decision to let them go – and the sooner the better. No one enjoys the firing process, but it’s a necessary part of the job.

Post-It note left on keyboard let's employee know they've been fired

The Best Day Of The Week To Fire Someone

When you decide to fire someone it’s in your company’s and your team’s best interests. Firing may be the hardest part of your job, but it’s something that you will have to address regularly throughout your career. There’s never a good way to fire someone, but there are certainly bad ways to fire people. We stumbled upon a post at that inspired us to write the following list.

These are some of the worst ways to fire someone:

  1. In Public- When you let someone go, tell them in private. It’s ok to have another manager present to witness the situation, but don’t make it a scene in front of the entire office. Be respectful. You don’t want to do what the CEO of AOL did!
  2. In The Heat Of The Moment – Firing someone is a business decision. You are likely letting them go because they are hurting your bottom line or they can’t do the job. Leave your personal opinions and emotions out of the situation. Even if someone behaves poorly, allow yourself to calm down and think clearly before you fire them.
  3. In A Text Message, Email, Note, or Social Media Post – It’s tempting to avoid a confrontation and send a impersonal message, but it’s unacceptable. Always try to fire someone in person.
  4. Without Following Established Protocols – Your employee handbook outlines your policies and procedures and you need to follow them. Protocols are designed to protect both managers and workers. They create consistent rules that will protect you from being sued.
  5. Outside Of Business Hours – If you have to fire someone, do it during the work day while you are in the office. It’s not appropriate to let someone go at happy hour, at a business conference, or at the company softball game.
  6. When You Lack Documentation – It’s necessary to document everything that happens at work. Record all of your performance reviews, disciplinary actions, and feedback sessions. When an employee has a track record of poor performance, it’s easier to justify firing them.

Imagine if you got fired by one of these methods. That’s not going to be a pleasant experience. Now there are always exceptions to the rules, but the key is to treat the situation with respect and be compassionate. In a perfect world, you will have established protocols that outline how to fire someone from your company. Always coordinate with HR to ensure that you avoid any unfortunate legal consequences.

If you’re in a leadership role, you will eventually have to fire someone. Steer clear of the worst ways to fire someone because they only make a bad situation even worse.

See Also: 15 Questions To Ask Before You Fire Someone

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