How to Let an Employee Go
No one wants to talk about it, but it is in the nature of businesses to let employees go when they are no longer beneficial to the company. Other reasons for letting employees go might include budget constraints that lead to the need to downsize, or a merger that creates redundancies in the company. Regardless of the reason, firing an employee is never easy. This is because firing a single employee can have a domino effect in that it could affect the lives of so many other people. If you are responsible for hiring and firing, keep reading because we will look at some ways to make this process as painless as possible.
Do it the Right Way
When one employee is let go, the employer’s actions show other employees how they will be treated when they are fired. The best way to handle this situation is to give the fired employee their severance, do not have them escorted outside unless they are problematic, and answer any questions about the incident should anyone ask you about it.
Do Not Make It Harder Than It Should Be
Firing an employee is never easy for all parties involved. This is why it is so important not to keep the conversation going longer than it needs to be. Once you have made the decision, talk to the relevant departments, and call the employee to a private space. Let them know they are being let go, why they are being let go, and any next steps. Do not go into lengthy explanations as that will make things harder than they ought to be.
Avoid it Altogether
Since you might not want to fire an employee, especially because of their performance, it is important to have one-on-one meetings with them to see if the situation can be salvaged. Weekly or monthly meetings can let you discuss their performance and achievements to find out why they are not performing as they should. One of the best ways to keep track of everything is to use a skills matrix.
A skills matrix software helps you see the employee’s development over the past month or year. That way, you can both see areas where they are improving and the areas they are lagging behind. Skills management software also lets you see if the employee is improving their skills, and if they are not, you can let them know so they can make the necessary adjustments. One example of this software can be seen through AG5. Their skills management software provides a simple and effective solution to outdated Excel spreadsheets and can be used by HR departments and operations managers to gauge the skills, performance, and advancements of their employees. When employers have a skills matrix at their disposal, they can make better decisions on whether to retain or let an employee go.
Do Not Surprise Them
By using a skills matrix as we have discussed above, employees can know when they are getting close to being fired. The skills matrix can be used to offer the employee a checklist to follow so they can get on the right path. If you see they are still straying or underperforming, let them know. This way, if they are ever fired, they will know why it happened.
A good tip is to document all these conversations and interactions so that you reduce the chances of getting sued for wrongful termination.
Help Them Start Afresh
The difference between getting fired and being let go is that the former ends in bad blood, but the latter does not. If you let an employee go because of economic reasons or restructuring, the best thing to do is help them find another job. Let them know they can add you as a reference and try to point them towards companies and businesses that would benefit from their qualifications, skills, and expertise.
Firing an employee or letting them go is never easy. This is why it is so important to make the process as painless and smooth as possible.
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