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How to let go of an employee gracefully?

Terminating an employee is never an easy task. It involves a lot of analysis, decision-making, and steps that make it an overall terrible experience for both the employer and the employee.

The process gets even more difficult when it is about terminating an employee for their poor performance. It is evident in the article by Harvard Business Review as well.

People make mistakes. The problem arises when people fail to learn from them and repeat their mistakes. The worst is when they don’t try to work on their mistakes. The only possible solution then is to terminate them for many obvious reasons the prime being – the business would not grow.

Even though the employers feel bad on a personal level for doing that, it is important to terminate someone who is not performing because by letting the inefficient performers stay in your organization and seeing them not improving, you are doing injustice to those who are efficient and adding to the growth of the organization. In simple words, seeing you treating both inefficient and efficient people the same way, the efficiency of good performers could degrade as well.

Thus, as an employer, you have the right to fire an inefficient employee. Here are five tips that will assist you to fire an employee kindly for their poor performance.

Also, don’t forget to read some of our related posts:

Is he/she the right candidate for your company?
  1. Be Clear and Concise

 This is the major step. It holds so much power, and it can define the success of your organization on many levels. Obviously, if you are not clear, you are most likely to hire the wrong candidate. As an employer, you are the one responsible for everything. Thus, while hiring you need to be clear at two most important situations: first, when you hire. And second, when you fire. These two situations help define your organization and also guides the future.

When You Hire Them 

Be clear with your requirements and words. Do not say things vaguely, and be concise. Do your research properly in hiring an employee, and please do not hire if the candidate does not meet the requirements. Mention the job requirements clearly without any confusion. This is because it can be harmful to both of you. Moreover, doing this would also prevent the situation of firing the employee.

When You Fire Them

If the situation still arrives, and you have to fire an employee, be clear. Do not change the topic, or talk about other things. Let them know the root cause of their termination, and be sensitive while doing that. Always remember, words can hurt and stay with us forever.


  1. Do Not Humiliate the Employee

This is one of the most insensitive acts that organizations need to stop doing. It is their little chance to add better to the world. It is recommended that you avoid humiliating the employees just because they are not able to meet the expectations. We all are different, just because a few employees are not good for a specific job, does not mean they are not good for others. We all have our hidden talents. Make them realize the same so that they work towards it. Do not compare them as well. This creates self-doubt and disturbs people mentally. Be sensitive, and make sure you do not say things in front of everyone. It can affect the other employees as well and put fears into them.

Moreover, make sure that you have someone from the human resources department while terminating an employee. There are instances when employees come back to the company with a lawsuit, which could put you in danger. Thus, have a witness with you while terminating an employee so that you and your organization stay safe.


  1. Make Sure Your Actions are Legal 

 You cannot terminate an employee without any legal implications. There need to be viable reasons to do so, and as per the research by Glassdoor, it is suggested that you consult a lawyer before doing that. Make sure that your reasons do not seem like an act of discrimination, or for any small reason, like taking a medical leave. You should have a legal contract mentioning reasons to end the employment of a certain person with your organization.


  1. Do Performance Reviews 

 Do not fire someone all of a sudden. It could be harmful to both you and your teams. It could drain your reputation for being impulsive in your decisions and can be problematic for the employee because of the sudden job loss.

Do proper performance reviews at least twice a year, which will allow you to know who is working actively and who is not. This can also work as an opportunity for improvement for those who are not. Moreover, this will allow you to give them tips on how they can bring changes in their working style and what you anticipate from them.

This is important because, giving your employees an authentic performance review will encourage them to become more action-oriented, and probably you would not even need to fire them. However, if they still choose to not improve themselves, then you have the right to fire them based on those reports.

Make sure that you do all the paperwork consciously so that you do not face any problems in the future.


  1. Let Your Employees Know About the Changes 

 Sometimes it is important to let the rest of your employees know. Let them know that you are planning to make a few changes that might bring changes in workload or bring new chances for employees.

And besides that, conduct a meeting after the changes. Let your employees know the root cause of the termination, and that they do not need to be scared just because one employee got the termination. They are safe if they are performing well, and adding to the growth of the organization.

Thus, we hope that you implement the strategy peacefully, and do justice to those who deserve it. Terminating an employee is undoubtedly a difficult task. It involves more than a single decision.

We wish you luck, and hope for the growth of your organization!

If you have just started a business or planning to start one very soon, use our AI-powered business assessments to help you make fast well-informed decisions on every aspect of the business.

If you enjoyed reading this article on how to start a business with no money, you should definitely check out more of our articles on our blog.

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