How to terminate an employee professionally?

How to terminate an employee professionally?

How to terminate an employee someone is a question that all HR professionals have ever asked themselves. And maybe the most challenging part of being a manager is looking into the eyes of an employee and saying the words “you’re fired.”. The employee termination process will always be uncomfortable for both parties, but using the right techniques can make the experience less traumatic.

The way managers handle employee termination speaks volumes about their leadership style. This is because the layoff will not only affect the employer and the employee who is leaving. It will also change the work process within the team and make other members of the question of the decision and their own job security.

When firing an employee, although the process will not alter the outcome, it will significantly change the experience and reduce the chances of going to trial. Knowing the employee termination process correctly makes managers feel more confident and compassionate, and team members are more accepting of the situation.

So how to fire an employee gracefully?

1. Inform the human resources team

Once a manager has decided on employee termination, he needs to review the employee handbook first. He must make sure that the grounds for dismissal are consistent with company policy. The manager should be ready to inform appropriate personnel in advance.

In general, before a layoff, human resources (HR) and the legal affairs department are first notified. They will explain how to proceed and inform the IT and security areas so that they can disconnect the equipment from the employee’s office after leaving.

2. Schedule a meeting with the employee

Once managers have notified HR about the employee termination, scheduling of a meeting with the employee is next. Ideally, this should occur immediately, but if the employee can’t, it should be as soon as possible.

If managers are asked about the reason for the meeting, they must say that they prefer to discuss the details during the meeting.

If managers have the opportunity, it is best to have this conversation in person and a private setting. This will allow them to use a serious but compassionate tone, and present all the documentation that the employee will need, including documents about health insurance, compensation, or unemployment.

3. Start by giving the bad news

The first thing managers should do at the meeting is to inform the employee that the company decided to fire an employee.

Giving too much context or preparation before dismissal may seem mature, but could ultimately make the employee termination seem less official and leave the employee with a lot to assimilate upon leaving.

They can let the employee express his or her point of view, but at this stage in the process, it is very rare to backtrack on the decision.

4. Mention past performance goals

The fourth step in the process depends on what you ideally took before this meeting: monitoring the employee’s performance and supporting him. It is essential that you tactfully refer to the warnings and advice given at different times.

If there were enough follow-up instances, the dismissal meeting is likely to take place after a meeting where they clearly discussed the goals to be achieved, the time frame in which this should occur, and most importantly, the consequences if this was not fulfilled (in this case, losing the job).

5. Listen to the other person and repeat the decision

Despite the manager’s efforts to be brief, the employee may give lengthy answers or excuses to avoid employee termination. It’s okay to want to express the opinion. There should be no doubt that the dismissal decision has been made.

Managers should listen to what the employee wants to say and pay close attention. As this is a conversation, they will probably have again in their career, and the employee’s perspective is valuable. But unless they offer strong evidence that there has been a mistake, they reiterate that their services are no longer necessary.

6. Provide documents to manage continuity of care after terminating an employee

The manager should clearly define the steps to follow with the employee. There are some important steps managers should take.

The first thing is to make clear the effective date of dismissal. In many companies, this means right away.
The manager needs to inform the employee about the compensation policy, if applicable. Managers should explain if they will continue receiving limited health coverage after the departure. It depends upon the prevailing laws of the country. Employees who have been laid off may or may not extend health insurance coverage after their employee termination process.

Usually, HR is the one who provides the medical insurance documentation after a layoff, but it is vital that managers also demonstrate knowledge of this initial step.

The company can also leave a review on the International Registrar of Employee and Employer Ratings based on employee past performance.


Losing a job is a traumatic experience. Managers should listen carefully and answer the questions empathetically and thoughtfully before terminating an employee.

This conversation should clarify any issues before he or she leaves the company permanently. At the end of the meeting for employee termination, managers should give the employee the option to speak to human resources to resolve his questions.

The manager should expect the employee to like them after firing them. They are now the enemy, even if the dismissal has occurred due to the worker’s actions. They should do their best and handle the situation calmly.

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