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Sever Employee Ties the Right Way

April 6, 1999
Related Topics: Termination, Featured Article
Here are some strategies from experienced managers on how to let go of an employee:

  • Make thorough preparations before firing an employee.
    Document a new hire s performance from the beginning. Don't focus on the negative, but don't ignore the negative.
  • Make sure they're not surprised.
    No one should be shocked to be let go. You should be offering feedback and criticism along the way. Other options must be explored first before firing.
  • Offer a "Career Decision Day."
    Give them a day off with pay to decide whether they should 1) leave with severance or 2) improve in all areas. Set specific deadlines for improvement.
  • Don't mix the good and the bad.
    Don't be so nice when letting someone go that they are confused about why it is happening.
  • Don't talk about it.
    Don't look for support, and to try to rationalize it with other managers or employees. It's unprofessional, and could pave the way for a libel lawsuit.
  • Be ready to be angry.
    Emotions are likely to surface if the employee questions your decision. Don't argue with him/her.
SOURCE:Positive Leadership, newsletter, Ragan Communications, Chicago, IL.
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