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Firing Your Staff: A Guide to Doing it Right

  1. Take the time to do it right: If you have to make the difficult decision to let go of an employee, make sure you do it thoughtfully and carefully. Avoid deciding in a hurry or a moment of anger.
  2. Do it in person: Whenever possible, it’s best to have the conversation in person, either in person or over a video call. This shows respect for the employee and allows for a more personal, empathetic exchange. If you have to do it over the phone, make sure to do so with empathy.
  3. Be clear and concise: When communicating the decision to let an employee go, be clear and concise about why. Don’t sugarcoat it or make excuses, but do take the time to provide context and explain the decision.
  4. Be respectful: Acknowledge and recognize the value the employee has contributed to the company, and treat them with the same respect you would want to be treated with. Avoid being rude, condescending, or unprofessional.
  5. Show empathy: Put yourself in the employee’s shoes and try to understand what they are going through. This can help diffuse tension and make the experience more bearable for both parties.
  6. Don’t do it alone: In most cases, it’s a good idea to consult your team or board of directors before making a final decision. Be prepared for any reactions from the employee, and take appropriate precautions, but try not to react emotionally.
  7. Offer severance: In many cases, offering severance to the employee can help them transition to a new job and protect your company from legal action.
  8. Follow up: After the conversation, follow up with the employee to see how they are doing. This shows that you care about them as a person and can help to prevent any bad blood between you and the employee.
  9. Offer career support: If possible, match the employee with a recruiter, job coach, or someone who can help them prepare a resume and apply for new jobs. Offer to be a reference in their future search. This sm
  • Assess the potential impact on the remaining employees
  • Communicate when you are finished with the restructuring process.
  • Be aware of the informal relationships between the fired employees and the remaining employees. and the leadership that they have.
  • Be aware of the effect that you will generate on those who remain, of the underlying messages and the potential bias that your decision communicates to various types: , farmers vs. Hunters, old employees vs. new employees, introverted vs. extroverted, etc.
  • Your decision carries a message about the type of employee the company wants to have and keep. It is good to own it rather than leave it to open interpretation.
  • Beware: Restructuring can make it challenging to get work done and could lead to a decline in productivity. Additionally, a culture of conflict can arise, leading to high-stress levels for employees, which can impact their health and well-being. Plan some activities and conversations accordingly to re-energize your remaining workforce.



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