How do you tell your employees you’ve fired someone? The topic makes most entrepreneurs very uncomfortable. But, there are certain situations which call for this type of action. Previously, we’ve talked about how to fire someone. However, what happens thereafter? It’s not like people won’t notice he or she is gone. So, how do you deal with remaining employees in a way that moves your company forward? The truth is, there is no such thing as a perfect transition. However, there are ways to make it go smoother.
Signs it’s Time to Terminate an Employee
Before you do take the final step of termination, you should be totally sure it’s the only recourse. For instance, a team member who consistently drags down productivity (and, won’t take steps to correct their behavior). Or, an employee who drains morale or constantly stirs-up drama are also toxic — don’t let your organization suffer unnecessarily. Also, an employee who is apathetic doesn’t care about their work product or customers isn’t worth keeping around.
One thing we know about human nature is that when there’s a mystery, people will solve it themselves: They make up the ending, and it’s almost always worse than reality. And that’s the problem–if you don’t tell people why, they’ll make up why. And the wrong why is almost always destructive. Information vacuums fill with rumors, and rumors lead to anxiety. —Inc.com
Then, there’s the serial rule violator. Someone who just refuses to play by the rules. It’s time to stop banging your head against the wall and do your business a favor. These situations are typically the most disruptive and harmful to a company.
How to Tell Your Employees You’ve Fired Someone
Now, if it’s time to let a team member go, you’ll have to navigate your employees through a weird experience. Here are some helpful suggestions for how to tell your employees you have fired someone:
- Make a simple announcement. Convene a meeting or send out a memo. Simply state, “Bob no longer works here. Our transition steps are 1, 2, and 3. If you have any questions, please see Sue.” That’s it. Straightforward and to the point.
- Don’t share details or communicate negatively. After terminating an employee, the human temptation is to share your reasons for the termination in order to rationalize your decision. And, sometimes this leads to making negative comments about the terminated employee. Do not fall into this trap! Be a leader. Otherwise, any other communication is destructive and deteriorates your culture and you lose respect with your existing employees.
- Don’t tolerate rumors. Rumors are inevitable in these situations. Keep your ears open and if you hear one, nip it in the bud. Be polite but direct and firm. Do not let rumors become a distraction.
- Give people a chance to step-up. Since there’s an open position, you can ask who is willing to step-in and fill the void. This is a great chance to see which team members are the most eager and loyal.
- Seize the opportunity. This is likewise an opportunity to reset the company narrative. You might want to take it in a different direction or get back to fundamentals. Whatever change you’d most like to make, now is a prime opportunity.
How do you tell your staff you’ve let someone go? What other suggestions do you have for these situations? Please share your thoughts by commenting!
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