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Firing an employee will be awkward and uncomfortable no matter what, but there are a few precautionary steps you can take to make it a little less painful for everyone involved. You’ll also want to protect your legal and financial interests during this process.

To make the termination process and gut-wrenching conversation a little easier follow the tips below:


Once you’ve established that you need to dismiss an employee, you must first review the employee handbook and consult with your legal and HR department about how to fire an employee. If they are within their probation period, the termination of employment should be quite straightforward as the employee will not yet have any legal requirements.


If you are dismissing an employee due to gross misconduct of some sort you cannot fire them immediately. You must investigate the incident, gather evidence and ask the person to explain their actions.

Set a Meeting

Once you have been through the above procedure, you must set a meeting with the employee that you are dismissing. Make sure this is in a private setting where you can’t be heard. It would be mortifying if other employees could hear the private discussion.

Image of a woman at work with her employees

Keep It Short

The words you use to terminate an employee should be simple and to the point. In these awkward situations, we usually tend to waffle, sugar coat and build up to the bad news. But, this is not fair on the employee; once they walk into the room they need to be advised of the decision.

Show Compassion

Firing can be a difficult chore for you as the manager, but it’s even more traumatising for the employee. Be empathetic towards the employee. If you are happy providing a reference letter, let them know. They can leave knowing that it was a good learning experience that they needed to go through.

Cut off Access to the System

Once you have given the employee their notice, you must cut off their access to your systems so they cannot take any sensitive information. This also includes keeping any company possessions from mobile phones to laptops and cars.

Inform Other Employees

Once you’ve fired the employee, it’s important that you notify other members of staff. If it’s a small company you can arrange a quick huddle to let them know, it’s a good idea to give them a brief explanation so they are not worrying that they will be next on the chopping board.

By: Dammy Eneli

See Also: What To Do When You Feel Guilty About Firing an employeeen You Feel 

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