BBC Content Team
HR: How to Fire Employees in a Professional Manner
The right way to professionally fire someone in a kind way should be precise and to the point. Firing an employee is a task that many business owners have a hard time doing. As a leader of a company, you have to remember to keep the right people in the right positions for the better of the business. It’s often hard on the person giving the bad news as it is on the person receiving it. Therefore, you should remember to keep it short, show compassion, and focus on the future.
By keeping it short, you should remember that the words you use should be simple and to-the-point. Lead the employee to a private area and then say your approach. You should maybe start by saying, “I have some bad news for you. Today is your last day here”. After saying that, say the reason in a simple sentence. Also, be sure to use the past tense and if they try to argue with you, try not to get caught up in responding just respond with a simple “I’m sorry”. Another key idea to remember is to show compassion and be empathetic and “offer to be helpful”. If you believe that the employee is a good person, offer to provide a reference or make introductions. Lastly, you should make sure to focus on the future. Firing represents short-term challenges for your team, which means more work to do, so try and make a plan that will manage your workload while you look for a replacement. Following these three goals, you can effectively fire a worker in a professional manner.
Knight, Rebecca. “The Right Way to Fire Someone.” Harvard Business Review, 14 June 2016, hbr.org/2016/02/the-right-way-to-fire-someone.