How to Appropriately Dismiss an Employee

By Adam Robinson,
August 5, 2015

The act of firing someone is not a pleasant experience for any party involved. However, if your franchise has an underperforming employee on its payroll, there will come a time when you can no longer avoid the issue.

Before you go ahead and make your final decision, never enter such a delicate situation without a plan of action. If done without the proper forethought and preparation, a firing can lead to needless aggravation and even lawsuits that could have easily been avoided.

Today, Hireology reviews four tips to help you appropriately and lawfully dismiss an employee from your business.

  1.        Be Compassionate

Firing an employee is up there among the toughest things a business owner will ever do. No one likes to fail or feel rejected, which can lead to emotions running high. Never approach the situation with a cold or callous attitude. Instead, do your best to understand how the employee feels and be empathic while still remaining professional.  Provide them tissues, if necessary, and let them speak. Be patient and considerate while they say what they need to say.

  1.        Be Clear and Concise

As uncomfortable as firing someone is, always do your best to remain professional and on topic. Never get caught up in the employee’s emotions, and if things unexpectedly become heated, under no circumstances should you match his or her intensity.

Immediately let the employee know why you called them into your office and then briefly go over the reasons that lead to your decision. Just remember that elongating the firing process will only make the situation more uncomfortable for both sides.  If applicable, give them the details of their severance package and any and all other benefits they’ll be entitled to upon termination.

  1.        Be Prepared to Back Up Your Decision

If you are in a situation where you have to let someone go, never be underprepared. Go over the points you wish to cover with that employee and have specific reasons and examples to help support your decision.

Be sure to bring up their past performance reviews and any warnings you may have given them leading up to this meeting. Keep in mind this should not be a laundry list of reasons; it is not necessary to bombard or overwhelm the employee with examples that can make them feel worse. As stated before, just keep this process as brief and as succinct as possible; never back down from your decision.  

  1.        Protect Yourself

Do everything in your power to make sure you, as the employer, are legally protected.

For example, having a witness present at the meeting is always a good idea. Whether it’s an HR representative or a direct supervisor, their presence can ensure that your actions are accounted for and an employee will not be able to falsely accuse you of unlawful behavior.

How Hireology Can Help

If you want to find the right fit for your franchise from the start, Hireology can help assist you in the process. With tools like background checks, personality assessments and interview scorecards, Hireology will provide your franchise with the proper infrastructure to make sure you find the right addition the first time around. For more information on how Hireology can give your franchise the tools it needs to find the right person for the job, contact us today.

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and learn how to build your best team.