6 Steps to Take When Firing an Employee


As a business owner, you have an abundance of responsibilities. But there is one that isn’t fun to have – the ability to fire an employee. Of course, you’re always looking for ways to limit employee turnover. Despite this, in certain circumstances, it’s a must.

A task that many business owners hate to carry out, it’s something that needs to be done professionally and efficiently every time. However, understandably, it can be a very daunting process to plan.

Therefore, to help guide you, here are 6 steps you can take when firing an employee:


#1 Arrange a Time To Talk

When you’re considering firing a certain employee, it’s vital that you take the time to talk to them first.

Discussing the issue – whether it be their drop in performance or an incident that occurred, it’s important to give them the benefit of the doubt before taking the leap and taking further action.

In this meeting, be honest and explain what you’ve noticed or what you’ve overheard around the office. Giving your employee the chance to explain, you’ll be able to hear all sides of the story. From this, any misunderstandings could then be cleared up.


#2 Create a Clear Plan of Action

At the end of your meeting, talk about what the next steps will be to make things better. You both want to find a solution that benefits not only the business but everyone involved.

So try and create this before you fire them. Plan to meet them again for another discussion in a few weeks/the following month to see how the plan has come into action.


#3 Understand the Laws

When you’re considering firing someone, it’s important that you understand the laws surrounding this action.

For example, certain laws are related to gender, age, race, and disability that could have significance. To ensure that you’re not in the wrong, make sure that you talk through your decision with your counsel.


#4 Know the Right Things to Say

If you have given them the benefit of the doubt and their performance isn’t improving/what they did proves to go against company policy then it’s time to terminate their contract. But when you’re doing this, you need to know what the right things to say are.

This can be incredibly daunting, especially if you’ve not fired someone before. So before you go into the meeting, sit down and plan out what you should say/what to avoid saying. You want to keep it short and precise while being empathetic.

Explain exactly why they have been fired with the assistance of a member of HR and manage the process as professionally as possible.


#5 Determining Whether They Should Have Severance Pay

If the employee has been fired without cause, you may have to pay them severance pay. But how do you determine what the appropriate severance pay is?

Well, it will depend on several factors, including statute laws and what their employment contract states.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to work out exactly how much you’ll have to pay them ahead of time so that you can budget for it.


#6 Decide on the Steps Following the Termination

Following the termination, you need to think about how the change will affect the team’s schedule.

No matter what role they had, chances are there will be a gap left behind that other employees have to fill. It’s therefore worth looking at the team’s planner and determining who can cover the work before a new employee is found.

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