After my recent post on how to terminate an employee, I received a couple of questions directed specifically at the logistics of firing someone. Things like:
Should I tell an employee why they’re being terminated?
Who should be there when I tell the employee they’re fired?
What should I do after I tell the employee?
So I wanted to share with you a very valuable resource prepared by a knowledgeable attorney with over 25 years in the business. Mark Neuberger, with the firm of Foley & Lardner, has shared his expertise with us before. And he offered to share a guide his firm has prepared titled “Terminating Employees: How to Fire Right” which outlines all the details when it comes to termination. I asked Mark why he created the guide.
“Terminating an employee is one of the most difficult and stressful tasks a manager has to perform. Throughout my years of advising employers on employment issues, I have on a number of occasions, received a call from a senior level executive who sheepishly admits they have never had to fire someone. (Presumably, they always were able to delegate the unsightly task.) They want to know, ‘How do I do this?’ The guide is my attempt to help them through a difficult process and have them do it in a way that is both humane while at the same time reducing the chance of a legal challenge.”
Whether it’s your first time or not, terminating an employee is never easy. Having a guide to help you plan is a good idea. You can download the (PDF) guide here. No registration is required. Mark explains how companies should use the document.
“The whole purpose of a guide like this is to get managers as comfortable as possible with what is always a very uncomfortable situation. The best way I know to do that is to prepare and anticipate. Through preparation, and even rehearsal, the manager can become more comfortable in delivering the bad news. If the person delivering the termination decision appears overly nervous and unsure, the employee will likely perceive this as ‘the company has made a mistake.’ You never want to send that signal. At the same time, you want to anticipate every possible reaction and have a prepared strategy for how you will respond.”
Of course, I don’t have to tell you that whenever there are questions, it always pays to pick up the phone and call your friendly labor attorney.
A huge thanks to Mark and his firm for sharing such a valuable resource. If you want to get more updates from Mark and the team at Foley & Lardner, be sure to follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook or connect with them on LinkedIn.1