Lessons Learned after Firing Someone

They are talking behind my backBeing the manager or the boss definitely has its perks. Honing your leadership skills, having a say in the direction of the company, and the satisfaction of leading a stellar team are just some of its advantages.

Unfortunately, being the boss has its downside, too. One of the hardest things that you may have to do at some point as a manager, boss, or supervisor is fire someone, or let go of an employee due to cutbacks. It’s awkward for everyone, and definitely painful, especially if you are close to that person. Letting go of star employees and friends hurts, especially if it’s not their fault but there’s nothing you can do.

As a manager, you should know that firing someone should be the last resort. Mistakes happen, people are human, and there are sometimes other cost-cutting measures that companies can take to avoid affecting the livelihood of its employees.

The company usually puts some effort into correcting an action or exerting disciplinary measures before slamming down the axe. But once in a while, it’s necessary to let someone go.

Here’s my guide on what managers and supervisors can expect when they have to write up the pink slip.

Don’t Expect Firing a Problem Employee is going to Solve All Your Problems

Sometimes, managers mistakenly think that one person is behind the downfall of a company. If we get rid of this person, they think, sales will go up, relationships with clients will improve, and attitudes will change. Everyone will work harder and the overall numbers will reflect this.

While one employee may be the problem, he or she is rarely all that’s wrong with a company if it is in trouble. There’s likely more than one factor – several workers, a team, an underlying attitude or strategy.

There May Be Rumors – So Prepare Yourself to Deal with Them

If you get rid of one employee, expect rumors to fly such as; the employee did something wrong like stealing from the company, that layoffs are coming, or other talk.

People love to gossip. It’s part of the workplace. It’s also your job as the manager to keep this gossip under control. Consider sending out an email, or holding an all-staff meeting to relay the truth, and ask anyone with questions to come directly to you.

You May Feel Guilty, Even Though Firing was The Best Option

You’ve gone over and over the decision in your head. It may not even be your idea to let the employee go. Whether or not it’s your call, you may feel guilty that you are the one delivering the news. Allow yourself to feel badly – you’re only human. But don’t get caught up in it.

Do Remember to Disable the Employee’s Accounts

Remember that people can act irrationally after receiving bad news. You’ll want to be proactive. Immediately after delivering the news, make sure that you synchronize the disabling of any accounts, change passwords, and collect any keys to the company’s property.

You will likely have some mixed feelings about firing an employee. But remember that it’s part of your job.