Firing an employee isn’t easy and most managers will agree it is one of the most dreaded tasks they have to carry out. Regardless of how you feel about having to fire employees don’t make these common mistakes.13 common mistakes managers make when firing an employee:
- Taking too long. Don’t make the employee, the team, the organization or yourself suffer any longer. The longer you allow it to drag out the harder it will be on everyone.
- Not giving feedback. If you aren’t providing feedback you can’t expect them to be aware they are at risk of being fired.
- Taking it personally. It’s not personal its business. They are not able to meet whatever standards and expectations are in place despite your best efforts at coaching and development.
- Not documenting the performance expectations or improvement plan. Not only can this become a legal issue but it also relates to number 2. Have a formal, documented plan that outlines the current state, what the expectations are, what they need to do, what you will do and timelines.
- Not having a legitimate business reason. It is wrong on so many levels to fire someone outside of business reasons such as you don’t get along or don’t like them.
- Not having a follow-up plan. The plan is for what happens after they leave. Make sure their workload is transitioned to people who can carry it and are familiar with it. Always have a back-up trained regardless of if an employee is in jeopardy of losing their job or not.
- Talking too much. Get to the point, only state the facts and use specific examples. Don’t let them talk too long either, typically nothing can be done at that point to change the decision.
- Letting the word get out beforehand. Don’t suffer from loose lips and make sure that when you are talking about it with others that it is in private and away from of other ears.
- Arguing. The time for debate is over. You are there to inform them of the consequences of their actions.
- Lack of clarity for the reason. Don’t sandwich the discussion with positives. Be blunt, be honest and be clear on the reasons why.
- Surprising them. When you fire someone it should never be a surprise to them.
- Outsourcing the conversation. Step up and do it yourself. They are your employee and your problem. You know the history and what steps were taken to try to save them.
- Talking about how hard this is. Firing an employee isn’t about you or how you feel. It is about their inability to meet the requirements of the job. Keep the conversation to the facts not the feelings.
This is my list of the 13 most commonly made mistakes when firing an employee. What are some mistakes you have seen managers make when firing an employee? Use the comments section below.