The Right and Wrong Ways to Fire Someone by Jake Wilder Jake Wilder

When Cuyahoga County executives decided to complete a round of layoffs in 2011, they decided to experiment with a new way of letting people go. As their employees opened the front doors of their homes the next morning, they were greeted with a plainclothes sheriff’s detective to deliver their pink slips.

The company claims it was trying to find a method that was easiest on the people being laid off. But it seems obvious that they were really looking for the easiest path for their own management.

After questions came up regarding the idiocy of this decision, the HR Director doubled down, saying this method was “the smoothest way and most dignified way of doing layoffs.”

Personally, I don’t see anything dignified about receiving your lay-off notice in the same manner as an arrest warrant. And the only person who would consider this “smooth” is the manager that’s too much of a coward to have the necessary conversation.

But while this is may be an extreme, the process of firing people is rarely handled well. It’s often one of the most difficult jobs a manager will ever have to do. Even when it’s clearly the right business decision, you’re still telling someone that he no longer has a job and no longer has a means of supporting his family. That’s a tough situation for anyone, especially if it’s someone you’ve worked with for years.

And despite this difficulty — and despite the importance of handling these situations well — most companies offer no training or preparation on how to fire people. Maybe because it’s a difficult topic to discuss. Or maybe people believe that they’ll be able to prepare once they’re in the situation.

Except the process of letting someone go with professionalism and dignity begins well before the final meeting. And unless people understand the fundamentals of firing someone well, they’re unlikely to stumble their way into it.

While letting someone go will never be an easy part of a manager’s job, there are a number of things you can do to better manage the process. And hopefully avoid sending sheriff’s detectives to your employees’ houses.

Read the full article @ Medium
Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

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