How to Fire an Employee with Dignity

When You Must Terminate for Performance

“We have to let you go.”

Nobody wants to hear those words. And nobody wants to say them.

One of your toughest tasks as a manager is terminating an employee for performance-related issues. Emotions are running high. Often employees don’t see it coming (even when they should). In the stress of the moment, it’s easy to forget to convey critical information – or to say the wrong thing. And a well-intentioned comment could backfire – fueling anger and resentment or providing fodder for a lawsuit.

Here’s a useful checklist that can help you navigate these difficult conversations. Use it as a planning tool to help map out what to say and what not to say. Then keep it handy during the meeting to be sure you’ve covered all the bases.

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