How to fire an employee and maintain a good image of the company?
It is virtually impossible to indicate a way that would allow you to leave the employee without any problems. It cannot be concealed that dismissal is usually a negative experience, associated with a lot of stress and anxiety. However, there are some guidelines that will make it easier for the employee to accept information about the necessity to leave the company and the employer is not viewed negatively.
First of all, the most important is the form of informing the subordinate about the dismissal. Specialists agree - it should always be a face-to-face conversation between the boss and the departing employee. In corporations, such an obligation usually falls on the manager or the highest-ranking manager of a given department. However, you should never delegate such a conversation to other specialists, e.g. human resources. The form of conversation is also the best - if not the only - option here. Attempts to dismiss an employee by e-mail, text messages or his colleagues are - to put it mildly - unsuccessful. A boss who does this can quickly become labeled as a coward or a trickster.
In that case - a conversation. What should it look like? First of all - it cannot be too long. It is estimated that approx. 15-20 minutes is sufficient time. Ideally, the notice of dismissal should be quick and to the point, but on the other hand - not without empathy. It is best not to use negative words - that is, to avoid the "I'm firing you" in the face. It is better to indicate that the cooperation between the company and the employee is coming to an end. In this way, the situation is presented clearly, but in a "human" way.
During the dismissal interview, the employer should take care of the employee's well-being and self-esteem, but not by force. It is therefore not appropriate to mention all the errors or shortcomings that have led to the present situation. On the other hand, you cannot compliment your statement with admiration over the competences or abilities of the employee - most often it is perceived as banal attempts to console, sometimes also - as an indication that there is still a chance to stay in the workplace. At the same time, it is worth avoiding classic comforters - "you will find something quickly", "thanks to this you will only develop" - they will not help, and can evoke an even more emotional reaction of the employee. Also, the employer should not apologize for his decision - since it is based on specific arguments, there is no reason to repent. By apologizing, the boss may give the impression of being unsure of the steps taken or relying on his own sympathies and subjective opinion.
So is it not to cheer you up? Comfort, but specifically. At this point, it is worth indicating what the severance pay looks like, ensuring that references are issued, or providing information about the employee in future recruitment processes. Also, do not forget to give the employee a chance to speak up. There is a high probability that he will ask, for example, about the reasons for such a decision. You must then point to specific errors or lack of competence, but always briefly, so that the conversation does not turn into a criticism of the subordinate. The dismissal situation is already stressful enough.
The employer can also prepare a list of the employee's duties before the interview - things that he has been doing so far and which should be finished before leaving. As already mentioned, the loss of a job is usually a highly emotional experience, which means that an employee may not remember to button everything up. In this case, the written arrangement will help prevent further stressful situations.
Why is it so important that the layoff interview follows these guidelines? First of all - it should be remembered that the dismissal applies to another person - that is, a person for whom the situation will certainly be quite aggravating. Secondly - the style of dismissal very often affects the morale of employees remaining in the company. If they know that their boss is unable to control their emotions or behaves in an inelegant manner in dealing with subordinates, it will be difficult to demand respect from them. In addition, since one person was dismissed in a given way, there is no reason to assume that someone else in the company will not be exposed to similar treatment. On the other hand, perceiving the boss as a threat has a negative impact on the motivation and willingness to work of the rest of the staff.