How to fire an employee

8 ways to make the bad news a little less bad

Nobody really wants to have to fire an employee. However, there are ways to lessen the pain for everyone involved, writes CIO magazine's Rich Hein, who presents a round-up of suggestions for letting someone go in a humane fashion.

To begin, the direct supervisor should be the one to inform the employee of the job termination, and there should be a third person present. The third person will likely be from HR, although that individual may make the person about to be fired feel more uncomfortable.

Next, keep things short and straightforward. Know what you're going to say, and stay on message. Be specific as to why the person is being fired, and allow some time for the message to sink in. Don't make someone sit and squirm for longer than necessary, but do give a person the chance to vent a little. Don't be surprised to get an angry or sad reaction.

Make sure that network access privileges are shut down by the time the meeting is over, but not before the meeting begins. If access is blocked before someone is let go, it can alert him or her to the impending doom.

When wrapping up the meeting, show empathy as well as respect. Shake hands and offer to provide a reference if possible.

For more:
- see Rich Hein's article at CIO

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