How Employees Fail #4: Deciding To Fire

1 Feb

Separating a person from their job is a difficult decision and a test of your management skills.  When I began consulting, I often coached people who had involuntarily lost their jobs.  It was not a pleasant experience.  What always bewildered me was most of them never saw it coming.  This is what turned a bad experience into to a train wreck.

The decision to terminate employment is always a difficult one.  You must act to protect yourself from the emotional effects of this action by assuring that it was carried out in a thoughtful and respectful manner.


As a manager it is your responsibility to act in the best interests of the company.

Frame it this manner:

  1. List all the stakeholders (the person, you, co-workers, the company etc.) and their stakes in this action.
  2. Build a T-chart of the pros and cons for termination.
  3. Ask yourself, is this a legitimate action?
  4. Are you making this decision with your head, not your heart?

Decide and make it happen. (later in this series we will spend time on the actual mechanics).

Next week: What to do with people who don’t play well with others.

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