I have to make the assumption that you have done everything you can do to work with the employee to improve their performance? If you have done your part correctly, no employee should be surprised when terminated. Here are a few thoughts to consider:
- If your company has a Human Resources process for terminating an employee, make sure you follow it to the letter (proper notices, process improvement plans, document conversations and results, etc.).
- Deal with the termination at the “earliest” possible time once the decision is clear. Prolonging the result is not fare to the employee or the company.
- Be respectful to the employee during the termination meeting; look them in the eye; be direct and to the point so they know the decision is not reversible.
- Explain the reason for the termination “briefly”, no need to torture them. They should have already suspected this is a possibility if you have been communicating directly and honestly throughout the performance improvement process.
- Have someone else join the termination meeting to corroborate the conversation. If you have a Human Resources group, they should be that person. If no HR department, then solicit another person at your level or higher to join the meeting.
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