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Workforce Management

Employee Lay Offs

Employee termination is never easy -- particularly in small companies where hiring friends and family is often the norm.

In this video, Roberta Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions and author of Suddenly in Charge, offers some sage advice on how to fire someone while avoiding drama or disagreement.

Video transcript

By: Roberta Matuson

It’s really important that when you get into a situation where you have to terminate an employee that you keep in mind the number one thing you should be thinking about is respect.

Think about if you were in their seat: How would you want the situation handled? And use that as you go through these choppy waters.

You also might want to keep in mind that it’s always better not to surprise your employees.

By that I mean, if you had conversations regarding their performance and if you been totally honest and say in the last conversation, “If things don’t get better, then I won’t have any choice but to terminate our relationship,” then that employee will know that you’ve reached the point where the next time, they may no longer be employed by you.

So it’s always good to keep in mind that surprising employee is not good for the employee, it’s not good for you and it’s certainly not good for the people around them.

As a small business owner, you have an opportunity to have an intimate conversation with an employee who may not be working out as you both had hoped. In most cases, they have a pretty good indication that it’s not the right fit as well.

If you see an opportunity to extend to that employee the opportunity to resign instead of be terminated, then take that path. Give them the choice and if they accept it, shake hands because you just accomplished an employee termination in a very respectful way that allows everyone to come out in the end feeling pretty good or as good as possible about a situation that usually doesn’t feel so hot.

More insights from Roberta Matuson:

Employee Termination: What to Say When You Have to Say, “You’re Fired”

Employee Termination: How to Graciously Let Go of Long-Term Employees

Management Skills: How to Deal with Poor Employee Performance?


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