How to Fire an Employee

The employee should always know it’s coming. Even in the case of layoffs, management should have been communicating the problems and issues the company was experiencing so that employees are not completely blindsided. Performance issues leading to employment termination should always be clearly understood by the employee.

A performance improvement plan (PIP) may even become your last resort communication tool in your efforts to communicate with an employee. Unfortunately, not all organizations use a PIP appropriately and so they have developed a seriously bad image. But, a PIP, used properly, is a strong performance improvement tool.

A PIP is not always in order. For example, in the case of a poorly performing manager with a negative attitude, you may have lost confidence in his or her ability to manage. And, because of their position, the negativity affects too many other employees to wait.

In a second example, you and the employee’s mentor have trained and retrained the employee repeatedly over three months, and the employee is still unable to perform essential elements of his job. It’s time to cut him loose as you already know that he would fail any PIP. Don’t torture the employee.

No PIP will fix these performance issues. Sometimes, it’s better just to let the employee go even if you have to provide more severance pay.

Firing a person because they are an at-will employee leaves a lot to be desired, too, although some employers still do it.

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