Ten don’ts while firing an employee | SupportBiz

Human Resources

Ten don’ts while firing an employee

Firing an employee – due to any reason – is a difficult task, both for the organisation as well as the employee. This is a decision that can have far-reaching effects and, hence, must be handled effectively. Here are ten things you, as a small business owner, should avoid while firing an employee.

Don’t fire without appropriate reason

Never ever fire an employee if you do not have adequate reason to do so. Firing an employee in a fit of anger or on a whim can negatively impact your business.

Even when you have cause to fire an employee, think over whether the situation can be saved in some way. Can the employee be given another role in the organisation that would be a better fit? Is there scope for the behaviour or performance of the employee to be rectified?

Don’t fire without a face-to-face meeting

Do not fire an employee cold-bloodedly, through an e-mail or over the telephone. If you have to fire an employee, do it in a face-to-face meeting with him/her.

Don’t fire without warning

Do not fire an employee without giving him/her sufficient warning, well in advance. Once you notice cause to fire an employee, start giving them warnings that a lack of improvement in performance or change in behaviour will lead to their services with the firm being terminated, in clear terms.

When you decide to fire an employee, it is only fair to give him/her a suitable notice period before you do the act, to think about what they will do next.

Don’t fire without a witness

Always have one or more witnesses with you when you undertake the activity of firing an employee. These witnesses could be other members of the senior management team of your firm, and should include the immediate manager of the concerned employee.

Also have a lawyer present, if required.

Don’t be rude

Do not be rude while firing an employee, and make the situation even tougher for him/her than it already is. Be courteous, and explain in polite words about the decision you have arrived at. Give the employee a final parting, wishing him/her well in their future endeavours.

Don’t create an impression of non-finality

Do not give the employee cause to believe that your decision of firing him/her is not final. State in polite but firm and clear words that he/she would no longer be working with the firm.

Don’t fire without adequate information

Do not fire an employee without giving him/her adequate information about what they can expect from the company in terms of monetary settlement, when they are expected to leave the firm, and what duties they are expected to complete before leaving.

Don’t allow the employee to take company property

Once you communicate the decision of firing an employee, ensure that he/she does not leave the office premises with any kind of property belonging to the firm. Collect all company-related information and documents from the employee before they leave your premises. Similarly, ensure that the employee carries all his personal belongings from the office before he leaves.

Don’t allow access to information systems

Once an employee has been fired, it is advisable to not allow him/her access to official e-mails and other information systems belonging to the firm. Change passwords, if required.

Don’t mislead

When you fire an employee, ensure that you do not mislead him/her about helping them in any future endeavours. Basically, do not make promises that you do not intend to keep.