When you part ways with an employee, regardless of the reason, it is never an easy task. You know you’re disrupting someone’s life and causing them financial stress, which isn’t a good feeling. However, there are ways to let an employee go without causing an explosive scene in the office. Here are some strategies to do it as peacefully as possible:
Don’t avoid the situation
Putting off an unpleasant conversation only makes it worse for both parties. As soon as it becomes apparent that it’s time to part ways (and you have proper paperwork in place) you have to make that conversation happen. Also, though it may be tempting to pass the task off to another manager, avoid this temptation. If someone has worked for you, they deserve to hear from you personally about why they no longer have a job.
Keep it strictly business
Regardless of how you feel about this individual as a person, stick to just the facts during the conversation. If they’re regularly late for work or fail to meet deadlines, discuss this. There’s no need to mention that you still consider them a friend or, on the other end of the spectrum, find that they’re hard to deal with. If it doesn’t impact their performance inside the office, don’t bring it up.
Have someone on hand who can handle the logistics after the discussion is over
Once the conversation has concluded, you’ll want to have an HR person on-hand to cover the logistics of the termination. Will the person receive severance? Will they be paid through the end of the year? They’ll probably have a lot of questions, and having someone nearby to answer them will prove useful. If you don’t have an HR department, be prepared to answer these inquiries yourself.
Don’t feel as if you have to justify everything
Once you’ve offered a decent explanation for your decision, you can stop. Some managers feel as if they need to launch into a lengthy monologue to back their decision, but the truth is that you’re free to make the choice you did. It doesn’t matter whether the individual agrees with it or not.
How do you make sure that you keep things peaceful when it’s time to part ways with an employee? Share with us in the comments.