Firing (sacking) an Employee – A Helpful guidelines For Entrepreneurs And Business Owners

A time comes when you can no longer condole a particular employee in your organization. It becomes obvious that the best action needed is to relieve the employee of his or her duties and terminate the appointment. However, besides strict adherence to some guidelines and regulations on employment matters in your country or state, handling this kind of issues requires knowledge of proper communication and execution strategy without a negative reprisal impact on parties involve.

As a guide to entrepreneurs and business owners

 Sacking or firing a worker is most time not palatable and clearly will have effects on parties involve therefore this must be done after proper considerations and decision.  A typical separation shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, so firing someone should be quick and painless

WARN THE EMPLOYEE BEFORE YOU ACT – Before you fire an employee, try to determine what is causing the employee to fail. If you decide the employee is able to improve her performance, provide whatever assistance is needed to encourage and support the employee

When should an employer consider firing an employee?

NOTE: Before you fire, ensure you have corrected, probably give some further training on effectiveness at workplace and ensure you have warned such employee more than once.

Then, if repeated corrections and your efforts in carrying out the above haven’t worked – it is time to fire.

Who should you fire?

  • The one that you keep thinking about why/how/when you should fire, the chances are that he / she is long overdue. The employee that instantly comes to your mind as unproductive and deserving to be done away with. You have given such person endless second chances and spent resources in educating this person.
  • The one that consistently damage or frustrate productivity – he/she wouldn’t get things done because the other person has not finished his/her part. Always blaming others for his inefficiencies.
  • The one that refuses to correct his/her bad behaviors – bad behavior at work place stinks, for instance an employee that keeps coming late to work or late for assignments. You have corrected severally and refuses to change. Let such employee go.
  • If they don’t care about the work, the customer, the company, or their coworkers, why should you care about keeping them? 
  • The one that commits a major violation – Rules are not suggestions, they must be followed to the letter, there some violations that can be condoled for a time expecting changes after correction.  BUT there are some violations that requires immediate and irrevocable discipline

6 Important Things You Must Do When Firing an Employee

  1. You Must Ensure That You are in Control Of Your Temper and Emotion. – it is inappropriate to bully or publicly announce the termination or act to the extent that you shout publicly and say things out of control, like; “you are fired” “idiot, leave my organization”, “you have always caused pains in this organization, you are unproductive…..”
  2. You Must Arrange a face-to-face meeting – Do not use an electronic medium (email, Phone call etc) even a letter is not appropriate.
    1. No matter how little the time they have spent in the organization may seem or the magnitude of the reason for the termination.  Give them the courtesy you will give to any human being, they deserve a face to face meeting.
    1. Do not create a scenario that will make your other employee afraid of trusting you or conclude that you will treat them same way too. This can make you lose your existing productive employee. Some may decide to shock you one morning with their resignation letter because they are now afraid and lack trust that you wouldn’t treat them same way some day
  3. You Must Make The Conversation As Short As Necessary  (10minutes is appropriate) – you don’t need to begin to rehearse your dissatisfaction and how well the employee couldn’t do because this will accomplish nothing –
  4. You Must Help The Employee To Maintain His/Her Dignity –  You can say something like;
    1. “We’ve already discussed your performance issues. We are terminating your employment because your performance does not meet the standards we expect from this position.    – “We wish you well in your future endeavors and trust that you will locate a position that is a better fit for you. You have many talents and we are confident that you will locate a position that can take advantage of them.”
  5. You Must End The Meeting On A Positive Note – Tell him/her that his contributions were valued. Suggest the type of job that might fit her skills. Use words of encouragement like, “we are confident that you will find a job that is a better fit for you.”
    1. Do not create a sympathetic environment the only thing you need to ensure you give them is  words of encouragement- some may even burst into tears and all that may trigger some kind of emotional feelings.
  6. Don’t Allow Them To Access Their Work Area Or Coworkers – Some of them may be visibly upset and might start crying- if they have things to pick you can make arrangement for that after the day work or send it to them.
    1. As much as you preserve their dignity avoid contact with your work site henceforth.
    1. If the employee insists on picking up all possessions immediately, wait until lunch or a break, if possible, and always accompany the employee to her work area.
  7. Let Them Know The Decision Is Final – Do not allow the employee to believe that they may still affect your decision with plea or other means, of course you must have thought long and hard before scheduling the termination meeting.


As much as you make your words clear and straightforward, you must also ensure you approach the employee with respect, kindness and concern whenever you want to do away with them. 

Most people you want to fire will always ask WHY – You must have a ready answer.

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