Firing is hard for tons of reasons. First, you need to think if a person is worth keeping, then you need to tell somebody that they have no more enough value for your company, then you have to go through an uncomfortable situation with all the employees that might feel threatened and last you might get sued.

As there’s no secret formulas to avoid every single problem that might come, we can take some precautions and perform some attitudes that can keep us far from making a mistake that might take your company’s money and your staff’s trust away from you.

 

BEFORE

-Be sure you hired right

           This topic takes a lot of time and is pretty extense, so I won't be long here. Look up for the better ways to hire the right people to work with you and that is one of the most effective ways not to have to fire someone. 

           To help you, take a look at this useful article here.

-Be sure you’re a good employer

           Are you giving constant feedback? Did you set up clear expectations about his or her work? Did you allocate that person to a job that matches their skills? Are you motivating that worker? Are you overcharging them with work?

           After you are sure with your decision and that you really think the problem lies on the employee, you can proceed to the next step.

-Give warnings and consider probation

           Before doing something radical, tell the person that their work is not following what you expected and that they should enhance it.

           If the situation worsen, consider giving them a final warning of probation, which lowers your chances of going to court and might boost that worker’s productivity, eventually even ending the need of firing.

-Know the laws

           You need to know if you are not going against any kind of law, even those specific to some groups. As it is a regional matter, it wouldn’t be really useful to keep on talking about it here, just be sure you know that your decision is completely covered by law mechanisms.

-Have documents

           If you fire somebody who takes you to court and then say that you had no reason to do that, what will you say? In whose word will the judge rely on? He will best rely on documents.

           As you notice someone in your staff is not following your expectations, start to write down what they have or not been doing that didn’t satisfy you and the dates and situations in which these things happened. If you have to face court, that will be a strong weapon to show your point.

-Talk to Human Resources

           They know (or they should know) everything that goes on with the company. Maybe they can help you understand why that employee is not doing a good job and how to help him.

           If it is a lost case, they can also help with the firing process.

 

DURING

-Be kind

           Maybe that person has stressed you out for a long time. Even though, relax and show kindness while firing them. Don’t take it personally and show them you respect them and want the best for their future journey.

-Don’t get caught in an argument

           As your decision is made and you are certain, just tell them that you have a point on doing that and if they try to object or ask things on top, just say you’re sorry and that your decision is made up.

-Align expectations

           Tell them what they should expect as benefits and when you expect them to leave the office.

           Also, tell them what you should say if somebody asks you for references on that employee. For this, just be sure you agreed all the wording with the attorney.

 

AFTER

-Prevent from legal matters

           If your employee is part of some minority, or is more than 40, or even if it is a female, they might sue you for prejudice. In those cases, ask them to sign a release (made by your attorney) and offer they some financial incentive to do so.

-Talk to the others

           Now you have one less person on your staff. As long as you don’t hire another one to substitute them, you need to reassign all that needs to be done.

           Also, be transparent and show your employees that you had a good reason to fire that person, without getting into details. The important part here is to show that the problem was in that person, and that nobody should be afraid of getting fired too.

 

Now, if you follow all those steps, you’re much less likely of getting into any kind of trouble when firing!


Matheus Dutra